Final to be moved after club objects to goal celebration

Final to be moved after club objects to goal celebration
By Reuters

14/02/2018 at 00:06Updated 14/02/2018 at 00:08

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - A final planned for Rio de Janeiro's Olympic stadium is to be moved after host club Botafogo said on Tuesday it would not allow Flamengo to play there because one of their players made fun of their rivals in last week's match between the clubs.

Vinicius Jnr, the 17-year-old Flamengo player who was signed by Real Madrid last year, scored one of the goals in last Saturday's 3-1 semi-final win.

The young striker, who is at Flamengo on loan, celebrated by rubbing his eyes as if crying, a gesture often used to taunt Botafogo fans.

The provocation led to scuffles between players and ill feeling after the match, which took Flamengo into next Sunday's Rio de Janeiro state championship final against Boavista.

The final was due to be held at the Olympic stadium, but the hosts withdrew permission after Vinicius Jnr and Flamengo refused to apologise for the wind up.

"The decision was taken solely because of the celebration by the opponent who – in Botafogo's understanding - disrespected the club, its players, members and fans," Botafogo said in a statement.

"Days have passed and until now there has been no retraction by the player or the club."

An alternative venue for the final has not yet been decided. (Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by David Holmes)