Brazil soccer club ousted after masseur makes save

SAO PAULO (AP) — A sports tribunal has removed a Brazilian club from the fourth-division playoffs because its masseur stepped onto the field and made two key saves near the end of a match.

The tribunal also suspended masseur Romildo da Silva for 24 matches and fined him about $250 for helping club Aparecidense this month.

With the match against Tupi tied 2-2, Silva lurked from behind the net and entered the field when a Tupi player cleared the goalkeeper and appeared to have an open shot on goal. He blocked two consecutive shots, allowing his team to advance to the competition’s quarterfinals.

Enraged Tupi players chased Silva from the field and police grabbed him for his own protection.

Tupi needed the victory at home to reach the next round. Now Tupi will replace Aparecidense in the quarterfinals.

Aparecidense club officials say they will appeal the tribunal’s decision.

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