FIFA has announced that Mexico will play its first two home World Cup qualifiers in empty stadiums due to their fans continued use of a homophobic slur in chants.
Mexico will host Jamaica to start the third round of qualifying on Sept. 2, then goes to Costa Rica and Panama before hosting Canada on Oct. 7.
Additionally, FIFA told Yahoo! Sports’ Henry Bushnell than the punishments were for incidents during CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, and that there’s a separate investigation of a friendly with Iceland. Those would not account for the two incidents causing a pause in CONCACAF Nations League matches against Costa Rica and the USMNT.
Some El Tri supporters have made a habit of defending the chant, but this punishment sends a message that FIFA will not harbor any perceived room for hate.
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And FMF president Yon de Luisa and manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino addressed the sanctions on Friday, with De Luisa not leaving the door open for any excuses.
“Let’s stop now, please,” De Luisa said. “The (expletive) chant is discriminatory and is moving us away from FIFA competitions. To those who think it’s fun to yell it out, I have news for you. It’s not.”
FMF prez Yon de Luisa today in Toluca, speaking directly to fans who continue to use the chant:
"Let's stop now. Please. The 'p***' chant is discriminatory and is moving us away from FIFA competitions. To those who think it's fun to yell it out, I have news for you. It's not."
— Eric Gomez (@EricGomez86) June 18, 2021
FIFA statement makes it official:
Mexico will have to play two World Cup qualifiers in empty stadiums as punishment for homophobic chants pic.twitter.com/eYUlm5AWRD
— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) June 18, 2021