Soccer Official Vows Five-Year Ban as Punishment for Homophobic Chants

Tuesday January 18, 2022

Soccer Official Vows Five-Year Ban as Punishment for Homophobic Chants
  (Source:Getty Images)

Soccer fans in Mexico who utter anti-LGBTQ+ chants will be banned from attending games for five years, the head of the Mexican Football Federation vowed on Jan. 17, ESPN reported.

"Mexico have struggled to eradicate certain terrace chants over recent years, particularly one shouted when opposition keepers take a goal kick, leading to them being sanctioned by FIFA," Goal.com detailed.

According to Goal.com, the chants have already resulted in a decision to bar all fan attendance from two upcoming matches, though that decision was recently reversed.

Mexican national team "El Tri were due to play their next two World Cup qualifiers, at home against Costa Rice and Panama on January 30 and February 2 respectively, behind closed doors due to previous instances of anti-gay chanting," Goal.com said.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has, however, lifted those sanctions and supporters will be allowed to attend fixtures at the Estadio Azteca — although the stadium capacity will be reduced to just 2,000."

As previously reported at EDGE, FIFA — soccer's international governing body — had warned El Tri fans about the chant, suggesting that the fans' conduct might imperil Mexico's chances of going to the World Cup this year — ironically, being hosted by virulently anti-LGBTQ+ nation Qatar.

Efforts to eradicate homophobic chants are ongoing.

"Through online ticket registration, a push for more positive fan experiences, heightened stadium security and the five-year ban, the FMF will once again seek to stamp out discriminatory behavior," ESPN said.

Mexican Football Federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa stated that the measures will be "applied rigorously in all home games organized by the Mexican Football Federation."

In a statement, the FMF reiterated "a position of zero tolerance for any offensive or discriminatory comments in the stadiums" and spoke of a "collaboration" intended to "eradicate discriminatory chants from our game."

"The FMF follow a three-step protocol that has previously been used to pause and halt matches when the anti-gay chant can be heard," ESPN explained. "In recent months, Liga MX's 'Grita Mexico' campaign has also pushed to eradicate the chant in domestic club matches."