Two Mexican soccer fans were kicked out of a Confederations Cup match in Russia last week after chanting a gay slur, a sign that soccer’s governing body is putting some teeth into its warnings. From Remezcla:
During Mexico’s testy 2-1 victory [over New Zealand], undercover FIFA agents in plain clothes were scattered throughout the stands. Their job? To monitor the crowd and point out anyone that disobeys the new ban on chants deemed offensive. Even though there has been plenty of publicity around the ban, two defiant Mexican fans decided to test FIFA’s resolve. It did not end well for them.
Both fans [were] banned from attending Mexico’s next match against Russia on Saturday, as part of a 15-day suspension from any sporting event in the country. On top of that, they will have to pay a fine of 15 thousand rubles (approximately $250), in order to recover the identification cards needed to leave Russia. All fans attending the Confederations Cup were given the aforementioned ID, which plays a similar role to a visa; this helps authorities identify fans in case any problems arise.
A Mexican site captured what is says is security officials going to eject fans.
Fueron expulsados dos aficionados por considerar que sus gritos eran ofensivos. Impresionante la seguridad y efectividad del operativo. pic.twitter.com/R9sZR8WhgL— Non Violence (@NVPMexico) June 22, 2017
Andres Guardado, captain of the Mexican team, hailed the action and also applauded the rest of the fans who did not chant the slur “puto” against New Zealand when the opposing goal keeper kicked in the ball.
"It was time to take a radical measure so that they stop doing it," said Guardado. "We hope they do the same at home and that people understand that it does help us a lot if they stop shouting it."
"As players we invite people to stop doing it, even though we believe that it isn't offensive and there are worse words and things that are done in the stadium," he said. "But that's how FIFA understand it."
Guardado is wrong about “puto” not being a slur, but soccer’s governing body FIFA has issued fines and said it would eject fans and threatened to suspend games if Mexico’s fans kept chanting it.
I could not find evidence whether it was chanted during Mexico’s quarterfinal win against host Russia but am assuming not. Fans are right now on their best behavior, not wanting to hurt their team when it is two wins from the Confederations Cup title. The real test will be how they react in a non-tournament game.