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20 Jun 2017

FIFA warns Mexico over fans’ anti-gay chant at Confederations Cup

FIFA has warned Mexico about the conduct of its fans after discriminatory chants at the Confederations Cup.
The anti-gay abuse was heard during Mexico’s opening game against Portugal in Kazan, Russia, on Sunday, despite FIFA warning on the eve of the tournament that there would be tighter monitoring of offensive incidents in stadiums.
FIFA says its disciplinary committee chairman Anin Yeboah “decided to impose a warning on the Mexican Football Federation for the misconduct of a small group of Mexican fans in relation to insulting and discriminatory chants.”
Mexico fans direct the chant in question at opposition goalkeepers as they take goal kicks and first came under the international spotlight in Brazil 2014, when FIFA investigated it at the 2014 World Cup.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who is from Colombia, said he did not think the chant was discriminatory.

“There are certainly worse chants in other cultures that generate violence. It is a question of interpretation and has to be sorted out between the [Mexico Football Federation] and FIFA,” he said.
“Some understand it as an outrage, an insult. Without being Mexican and being proud of managing this team, I think I understand the intent [of the chant] and it has nothing to do with [discrimination].”
Mexico has previously been sanctioned over gay slurs by fans in the current World Cup qualifying campaign. A 30,000 Swiss francs ($30,600) fine in November was the fifth time in a year that FIFA acted against the chant in games involving Mexico.
The Mexican federation launched a campaign entitled “Embraced by Soccer” in March 2016 asking fans not to engage in discriminatory behavior, although the chant has continued at both national team and Liga MX games since.
Mexico play New Zealand in its second Confederations Cup game on Wednesday.
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