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Nissan axes Vasco da Gama deal following fan violence

Japanese automotive company Nissan has announced it will end its sponsorship deal with Brazilian club Vasco da Gama following the fan violence that occurred as the team was relegated from the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, the top division of Brazilian football.

Nissan’s decision comes after Brazil’s sports tribunal on Friday issued sanctions following the violent scenes that marred the final round of the Serie A season earlier this month. Atletico Paranaense will have to play 12 matches away from home next year, while Vasco was hit with an eight-game penalty.

Hundreds of Vasco fans fought Atletico supporters in the stands on December 8, leaving four people injured. Vasco lost the match 5-1 at Atletico’s home in Joinville, suffering relegation to Serie B.

Nissan said its decision to end its deal followed “unacceptable acts of violence” involving Vasco fans. The company added: “These acts of violence are incompatible with the values and principles supported and defended by the company across the world.”

Vasco had announced the partnership in July and it was due to run for four years, from 2013-14 to 2016-17. Nissan’s logo was displayed on a slot on the upper back of the team’s shirts as well as the playing shorts.