Mexico pleads with fans to stop homophobic chanting at FIFA Confederations Cup
Mexico has pleaded with fans to stop their homophobic chanting, just days after FIFA threatened to abandon matches if the supporters continued to do so.
The slur “puto” – an equivalent to ‘fag’ – is often chanted by Mexico fans as an opposition goalkeeper takes a goal kick.
Supporters have failed to heed warnings, with reports indicating that the chant was heard during Sunday’s match against Portugal.
FIFA announced yesterday that it had warned the Mexican Football Federation about the behaviour of a “small group of Mexican fans in relation to insulting and discriminatory chants” during the 2-2 draw, Reuters has reported.
In response, Mexican authorities begged with supporters to finally put a stop to the offensive slur.
“As you know, FIFA is very serious about the chanting that we do when the goalkeeper takes a kick, and the possible sanctions are serious,” the federation said.
“Our efforts on the pitch will come to nothing if, because of this (behaviour), we lose the match, the game is suspended or you are expelled from the stadium.
“We lose, you lose, everyone loses.”
Earlier this year, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa – a hero of the 2014 World Cup – also asked fans to stop the chant.
The player warned: “We know the chant is not about offending anyone, but there are people that see it like that and we could be affected.”
In recent years FIFA has attempted to tackle the issue with fines, with Argentina, Brazil and Mexico all facing fines for homophobic chants by fans at qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.
However, the fines have been criticised for making little impact.
Mexico has been fined eight times for homophobic chanting during qualifying for this World Cup alone, with no real change.
The team has only played four games during qualifying in which have not incurred fines.
Mexico is currently topping its group, making it extremely likely that the team – and its supporters – will be back in Russia next year for the World Cup.
Last year, FIFA issued a bigger fine to England’s Football Association for wearing poppies than it handed to a long list of nations – including Mexico – whose fans engaged in homophobic chants.