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Mexico soccer fans yell gay slur 'puto' during COPA match in Arizona

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Fans continue chant despite threats of sanctions from FIFA.

Mexican fans during Sunday's match against Uruguay
Mexican fans during Sunday's match against Uruguay
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a plea from threats of sanctions by FIFA, Mexican soccer fans continue to yell the gay slur "puto" during matches. The latest came Sunday in Glendale, Ariz., as Mexico defeated Uruguay, 3-1, in a COPA America match.

Ivan Sanchez-Carrasco, writing a live blog on the game, counted four "Puto" chants. They occur during goal kicks by the opposing team's goalkeeper:

11th minute: First freekick from Uruguay and Mexican fans yell "Puto" to the shock of no one.

15' First goal kick for Ururguay and Mexican fans yell "Puto" to show FIFA how little they care that FIFA fined the FMF for that chant.

29' Tackles flying everywhere now and Chich now gets whacked. Another goalkick for Uruguay and another Puto from the Mexican fans. #FIFAFines

70' Mexico with a few attacks but easy saves. Those wondering though, another "Puto" is yelled out by the Mexican fans.

For those still too dense to understand, "puto" is a slur akin to "faggot." A Penn State professor originally from Mexico, broke down the issue for Outsports during the 2014 World Cup. A good analogy from his explanation: "The defense of the 'puto' chant is as weak as the defense of the Confederate flag as a symbol of heritage and not of racism."

FIFA, soccer's governing body, last month fined the Mexican Soccer Federation $56,000 for three instances of "puto" being chanted at games — Nov. 13, 2015 vs. El Salvador; March 25, 2016, vs. Canada; and March 29, 2016, vs. Canada. In addition, the Mexican national team released a video this spring, designed to get fans not to chant.

It all did little good as fans continue to be blind to the word's meaning, somehow contending it's an OK word. From Sunday's game:

FIFA has no choice but to hit Mexico with more fines and it should consider taking the most drastic step of making the team play an international game with no fans. It has been done before in other circumstances and might be what's needed to get people's attention.