Court keeps Gremio out of Brazil Cup

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SAO PAULO -- Brazil's sports tribunal has denied Gremio's appeal to be reinstated to the Brazilian Cup after its fans racially abused an opposition player.

The tribunal on Friday changed the original ruling that excluded Gremio from the competition, but voted to strip three points from the club, effectively ending its chances of advancing.

The tribunal earlier this month, in an unprecedented ruling against a top Brazilian team, had banned Gremio from the Brazilian Cup after a small group of fans called Santos goalkeeper Aranha a "monkey" and imitated monkey noises.

Santos won the first leg 2-0, so Friday's ruling automatically eliminated Gremio without the need to play the return match.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had praised the sports tribunal decision to exclude Gremio, saying that Brazil had "sent the right message."