The Mexico Soccer Federation announced that it had asked FIFA to reduce the ban because it would affect a match from the national team, when the ban was handed down after the chant marred multiple matches from the country’s Sub23 team.
Of course, this is all absolute bullshit. Mexico fans have been chanting homophobic slurs at matches at every level for many years. They’ve even done it during NFL games held in Mexico.
FIFA has hung potential punishments over Mexico soccer for years, and it was hoped they were finally taking it seriously after banning fans from two upcoming Mexico soccer matches.
To be sure, a one-match ban sends a stronger message than zero. But reducing the initially levied ban simply emboldens Mexico fans looking to yell anti-gay chants.
Allowing homophobic-chant-loving fans back into stadiums after missing just one match isn’t going to stop anything. If they were bold enough to scream the chant repeatedly in the United States, they’re certainly not going to stop at matches in other countries, including Mexico. After another slap on the wrist — which is now what this is — the fans aren’t going to stop.
The chants will start right back up very quickly. Hopefully there are people at the match who will report on the behavior to continue to put pressure on FIFA to levy lengthy bans on fans and even remove World Cup qualifying points.