FIFA is finally getting serious about anti-gay and racist chants and behavior at its matches.
The world’s soccer governing body today announced that referees for Confederations Cup matches will have a three-step process to deal with chants and discriminatory behavior: 1) stop the match and request a stadium-wide announcement to stop the behavior, 2) suspend the match until the behavior stops and 3) abandon the match all together.
Furthermore, FIFA will appoint anti-discrimination observers at every Confed Cup match to monitor the situations.
Mexico plays Portugal this Sunday.
Until now FIFA has responded to the anti-gay chant “puto” with fines against national governing bodies. Now with the threat that matches will be halted all together, fans will have to consider whether their bigoted behavior is more important than watching their team. The fans in the stadium next to them may have something to say about it as well.
The Confed Cup is being held in Russia, so chances are slim many fans from South or Central America will be there to chant the gay slur. Still, there is plenty of possibility for racist and homophobic activity in Russia. This is a great next step.
Hat tip: Scott S.