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FIFA fines Mexico for fans using anti-gay chant

After its fans were clearly heard using an anti-gay slur toward Germany’s goalkeeper, Mexico has been fined by FIFA.

FIFA announced Wednesday that it has levied a $10,000 fine against the Mexican federation for the “discriminatory and insulting chants” during Mexico’s 1-0 World Cup victory over Germany on Sunday.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico,” FIFA said.

“The decision was passed after a thorough assessment of the relevant match reports, the FMF’s precedents and the evidence provided, which included videos of the incidents as well as examples of certain sustainable actions taken by the FMF to raise awareness among its supporters. Moreover, the Disciplinary Committee gave a warning to the FMF, who may face additional sanctions in case of repeated infringements of this type.”

Mexico fans celebrate their team’s goal against Germany during soccer World Cup match, in Mexico City’s Zocalo, Sunday, June 17. Mexico won it’s first match against Germany 1-0. (AP Photo/Anthony Vazquez)

Mexico has been fined for the chant in the past

The chant has become common for fans in Mexico and some other Latin American countries despite its offensiveness. After outcry about the prevalence of the chant during the 2014 World Cup, the word used has been deemed discriminatory language by FIFA and resulted in fines for the Mexican federation in the past, including several in the lead up to his year’s World Cup.

At a news conference Tuesday, one Mexican player, Marco Fabian, urged the fans to stop using the chant. Fabian suggested fans sing a well-known Mexican song instead. Others have done the same.

From ESPN.com:

Fabian urged Mexico fans instead to sing well-known Mexican song Cielito Lindo (“Ay, ay, ay, ay, Canta y no llores”).

“It’s a good moment to send a message,” said the Eintracht Frankfurt player in a news conference at the team’s training base outside of Moscow. “We ask people not to do the chant. There are different rules now. It would be a shame for people to not be allowed in. It’s nice to hear ‘Cielito Lindo’ and the shout of ‘Mexico.’ We should [try to] avoid punishments.”

Fans could be ejected for using the chant

The Mexican federation has put together educational campaigns in an effort to stop its fans from using the chant. It also has warned fans in Russia for the World Cup that they could be ejected or have their fan IDs (which allow access to World Cup stadiums) taken away if they are caught shouting the chant.

“What we have to do and keep doing is uniting with the fans to abstain from [doing] the chant,” Mexican federation director of national teams Dennis Te Kloese told ESPN. “The consequences are really big, not just for the federation, but also for the fans here.”

Mexico will play its second game of Group A play on Saturday against South Korea in Rostov.

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