Update Dec. 20, 2:30pmET: Mexico has lost its appeal of FIFA’s ban on fans for the next two matches of the men’s national team, in addition to a fine of about $100,000.
“In relation to the sanction imposed on the Mexican Football Federation by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee due to the homophobic chants of Mexican fans during the qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup against Canada and Honduras, the Appeals Committee has decided to confirm the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in its entirety (a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs and the order to play their next two official home matches behind closed doors),” a FIFA spokesperson reportedly told ESPN Digital.
The two slated matches are against Costa Rica (Jan. 30, 2022) and Panama (Feb. 2, 2022).
Mexico’s national soccer team will play two more matches in empty stadiums after fans insisted on incessantly chanting “puto” during the first match they were allowed to watch their team in-person this fall.
Mexico had been ordered by FIFA to play a home match in an empty stadium after fans refused to stop chanting the homophobic slur en masse. As Mexico News Daily says, “Puto means faggot or male prostitute in colloquial Spanish.”
Because the fans couldn’t help themselves, they will now miss the next two home matches for their beloved team. The Mexican Football Federation is appealing the decision, which also included a fine of about $100,000. They were able to get the initial penalty from FIFA reduced from two matches to one, so they could be successful here as well.
Yet they may have an uphill battle. Given the fans clearly intended to be defiant in their first return to the stadium, and likely won’t stop anytime soon, FIFA may opt to keep this two-match ban.
The question is, what happens if the next match with fans results in the same thing?
The next step is for FIFA to penalize Mexico valuable qualification points for a spot in the 2022 World Cup. Yes, given the refusal of Mexico fans to stop chanting this gay slur, Mexico could lose a spot in the World Cup. FIFA is now taking this that seriously.
FIFA and soccer organizations around the world are intent on stopping this chant, as well as other chants deemed racist or homophobic. How far will Mexico fans go to keep chanting the slur? We’re going to find out.