RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- 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 on Thursday.
He will miss Palmeiras' matches against Vasco da Gama (away), Corinthians (home), Bahia (away), Gremio (home) and Fluminense (away), serving a blow to Palmeiras' hopes of back-to-back Serie A titles.
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.
The ex-Juventus, Fiorentina and Inter Milan enforcer has had a long history of disciplinary problems, having been dismissed 20 times throughout his 18-year professional career.
He was infamously shown a straight red card for stomping on Arjen Robben in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as the Netherlands dumped Brazil out of the tournament with a 2-1 win in Port Elizabeth.