The coach of the Mexican national football squad has defended fans following the announcement of a FIFA investigation into the use of a homophobic slur at World Cup matches.

FIFA this week started disciplinary proceedings against four teams, including Mexico and host country Brazil, after fans used homophobic slurs at a World Cup match.

Brazilian fans chanted Portuguese and Spanish gay jibe ‘puto’, meaning a male prostitute and a common gay slur loosely translated as “faggot”.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has defended supporters, saying the use of the word is “not that bad.”

He told the Associated Press: “We’re with our fans. It’s something they do to pressure the opposing goalkeeper.”

Mexico was reported by Fare, the fan-monitoring group for chants used during a match against Cameroon.

FIFA later opened disciplinary proceedings against the Mexico Federation, responsible for fan behaviour.