Rio de Janerio:
Palmeiras midfielder Felipe Melo has received a five-game suspension for an obscene gesture towards Santos fans during their Brazilian Serie A clash in October.
The former Brazil international showed his middle finger to home supporters in his team's 2-0 loss at the Vila Belmiro stadium on October 9. Brazil's highest sports tribunal, the STJD, found the 36-year-old guilty of improper conduct during a hearing in Rio de Janeiro.
He will miss Palmeiras' matches against Vasco da Gama (away), Corinthians (home), Bahia (away), Gremio (home) and Fluminense (away), dealing a blow to Palmeiras' hopes of back-to-back Serie A titles, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Sao Paulo outfit are currently second in the 20-team top flight standings, nine points behind Flamengo with eight rounds remaining.
Palmeiras officials vowed to appeal the decision and have argued that Melo was heavily provoked by Santos fans.