Mexican FA cited by Fifa for fans' homophobic chants eight times in last 17 months

Samuel Lovett
Mexico fans during their side's 2018 World Cup qualifier with Iceland: Getty

Fifa has cited the Mexican FA for homophobic chants by its fans eight times in the last 17 months, new figures have shown.

The governing body confirmed on Thursday that its Disciplinary Committee had imposed sanctions on several football associations across the globe for incidents involving, among others, unsporting and discriminatory conduct by fans during recent 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches.

Mexico was part of a long list of countries to have been charged with improper conduct in the latest string of sanctions imposed by the organisation.

The Mexican FA was fined 10,000 Swiss Francs for various incidents involving discriminatory and unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants.

Mexican players celebrate a goal against Costa Rica during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match in Mexico City on March 24, 2017 (Getty)

This is the eighth time in the last 17 months that the Mexican FA has faced disciplinary action from Fifa on account of its fans homophobic slurs.

In January of last year, the football associations of Mexico, Argentina and Chile all had disciplinary proceedings opened against them for homophobic chants.

The issue has centred around the crowds’ use of the word ‘puto’ – a derogatory word for a male prostitute or gay man – when the opposing goalkeeper takes a goal-kick.

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa publicly appealed to fans last month to stop using homophobic language during the side’s international fixtures.

“We have to take each opportunity to tell the people to create consciousness, as the federation has for a while,” Ochoa said.

“We know the chant is not about offending anyone, but there are people that see it like that and we could be affected.

“I believe people want to continue watching the national team in its stadium, we want the people there supporting us and the federation is searching for the best way to get that message across.

“We know the chant is not about offending anyone, but there are people that see it like that and we could be affected.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (Getty)

“I believe people want to continue watching the national team in its stadium, we want the people there supporting us and the federation is searching for the best way to get that message across.”

Guillermo Canto, secretary general of Mexico’s FA, claimed late last year that the term is not offensive, however.

As part of an appeal against another Fifa sanction, Canto said: “We will appeal the sanction because we do not agree with the connotation that FIFA has given to the chant”.

Albania, Brazil, Argentia, Poland and Iran have also been handed fines by Fifa as part of the organisation's latest string of sanctions.

Albania has been fined 100,000 Swiss Frances for a series of incidents during their World Cup qualifier with Italy, including the use of pyrotechnics by the Albania fans which led to the suspension of the match for several minutes.

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