Fans banned from two World Cup qualifying games in Mexico due to anti-gay chants

Associated Press/Marco Ugarte
Fans of Mexico’s soccer team carry their nation’s flag at the Angel of Independence monument to celebrate their team’s 2-1 victory over Brazil and winning of the gold medal for men’s soccer at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. 

Mexico’s next two World Cup qualifying home games will be played behind closed doors, as Mexican fans have continued to chant a taunt deemed by FIFA to be anti-gay.

The Mexican soccer federation will also be fined 100,000 Swiss francs, about $110,000, as a punishment for failing to quell the popular chant.

Mexico is due to host Costa Rica in January and Panama in February, in games that will not feature a live audience. 

For nearly a decade, Mexican fans have used the chant, usually directed at the opposing goalkeeper, which includes a homophobic slur. 

FIFA and Mexican soccer authorities have become increasingly active in trying to stop fans from yelling the chant, which many Mexicans contend is not homophobic in nature. 

The chant’s offending word is a common homophobic slur used to describe gay men, but it also has a broad array of colloquial uses. 

Still, attitudes in Mexico have changed about the use of the word, partly because of a growing debate over the country’s historical attitudes toward sexuality and diversity. 

In 2013, popular rap-rock band Molotov stopped singing one of its top hits, titled with the same homophobic slur as is used in the soccer chant.

So far this year, at least eight professional Mexican soccer games have been suspended because of fans’ unrelenting use of the chant. 

Mexico beat Jamaica 2-1 in an empty stadium in September because of a previous FIFA suspension and is due to play the United States in March at the famed Azteca Stadium.

Tags Mexico

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