After Fines From FIFA, Mexican Soccer Federation & Players Try To Ban Homophobic Fan Chant During Games
On Thursday, Mexico’s soccer federation and at least two of the national team’s star players jumped on social media as part of an effort to eliminate a homophobic chant that fans have long chanted during games.
Mexican Soccer Tries To End Homophobic Chant
The move came one day after FIFA fined Mexico $10,000 for its fans’ repeated use of the word “puto,” a slur that roughly translates to “faggot” and is thus perceived as homophobic by many. Fans usually scream the derisive word after a goalie from the opposing team kicks the ball off into the field. For years, FIFA and other soccer organizations have been striving to get fans to stop using the slur through the use of fines and other sanctions.
Mexican fans reportedly shouted the word at the national team’s 1-0 upset victory over Germany at the World Cup in Russia on Sunday.
Mexico midfielder Andres Guardado, the team’s captain for its first game, was one of two players to urge fans to stop using the word “puto.”
“Let us show that as Mexicans our values are of respect and cordiality,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. “We have been received with open arms, it is time to show that we are excellent visitors.”
Demostremos que como mexicanos nuestros valores son de respeto y cordialidad. Nos han recibido con los brazos abiertos, es hora de mostrar que somos excelentes visitantes. pic.twitter.com/pjyPWKPsDF
— Andrés Guardado (@AGuardado18) June 21, 2018
Star forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez also commented on the controversial chant:
“To all Mexican fans in the stadiums, don’t shout ‘puto’,” Hernandez wrote in his Instagram story. “Let’s not risk another sanction.”
The country’s soccer federation also posted statements in English and in Spanish on its social media accounts, and warned of the punishments that could be dealt for shouting the word:
“Let’s show the world we have the best fans!!” the federation’s English-language Twitter account posted. “Avoid getting your Fan ID taken away from you.”
FIFA said in a statement that it would not tolerate any type of discrimination under any circumstances, while ESPN reported that monitors at stadiums could start ejecting fans who partake in the chant.
During Mexico’s games in World Cup qualifying, public addresses about the chant were reportedly even made over the announcing system at stadiums.
CONCACAF, the regional confederation in which Mexico plays, also recently unveiled its own anti-discrimination rules.
A term like “puto” also carries significant meaning in a country like Russia, where homophobia is rampant and gay people are treated very poorly, to say the least.
Last month, Grupo Modelo — one of Mexico’s biggest beer companies — started an advertising campaign for its Victoria beer in which it recommended 2018 Word Cup attendants to start shouting “Putin!” instead, a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, the effort did not gain much following and was criticized by many, including the Russian ambassador to Mexico.