FIFA fines Mexico over homophobic chants at World Cup

FIFA has fined the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and handed it a one-match supporters’ ban over the use of homophobic chants at the World Cup.

In a statement, FIFA said it was imposing a fine of CHF 100,000 (£88,000) over the use of the chants, which were heard during Mexico’s group stage games against Poland and Saudi Arabia.

FIFA also said the Mexican team would be forced to play its next game “behind closed doors” with no supporters allowed to attend.

Mexico wasn’t the only country to face sanctions – FIFA also announced similar punishments for football associations in Ecuador, Serbia and Croatia for acts of discrimination from supporters.

Homophobic chants have been a problem in football for some time – some matches have even been halted as fans refused to stop using derogatory language.

In Mexico, “puto” – an anti-gay slang word that refers to a male sex worker – has become increasingly popular among football fans.

In the UK, the homophobic “Chelsea rent boy” chant has become so common that the Football Association (FA) was forced to take action against offending clubs.

Saudi Arabia's midfielder #19 Hatan Babhir (R) tackles Mexico's forward #22 Hirving Lozano (L)  during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Saudi Arabia’s midfielder #19 Hatan Babhir (R) tackles Mexico’s forward #22 Hirving Lozano (L) during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty)

In a statement, the FA said all clubs had been informed that officials can “pursue formal disciplinary action” against clubs whose fans use the chant.

“The FA has now informed all clubs that it considers the ‘rent boy’ chant to be a breach of the FA rules,” a statement said.

The “Chelsea rent boy” chant was used at a friendly between Nottingham Forest and Chelsea on 1 January, leading to disappointment and frustration among LGBTQ+ fans.

It was later directed at former Chelsea player Frank Lampard by Manchester United supporters at a match on 6 January.

The FA has said it is determined to drive the chant “out of our game”.

“We stand firmly against all forms of discrimination and are striving to ensure our game is a safe environment for all, which truly embraces diversity and challenges hateful conduct both on and off the pitch,” the body told PinkNews.

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