Brazilian rooster mascot banned for intimidatory behaviour

The mascot of Brazilian league champions Atletico Mineiro has been banned for one game for "intimidatory" behaviour in last weekend's city derby against Cruzeiro, the state football federation announced Tuesday.

Atletico's man-sized rooster mascot was behind the goal when Cruzeiro opened the scoring after 70 minutes of Sunday's game at the Mineirao stadium.

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The mascot immediately ran to prevent one of the Cruzeiro players from celebrating in front of fans, throwing their arm out to stop him.

The Minas Gerais state football federation said the action was an "intimidatory gesture" and banned the mascot from Atletico's next home game against Atletico Caldense on March 19.

The statement also said it was "necessary to adopt pedagogical methods to stop similar practices" in the future.

Atletico (whose nickname, Galo, is Portuguese for rooster) won the match 2-1 with a last-minute goal but did not comment on the mascot's "foul" behaviour.