FIFA has fined the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) after fans used homophobic chants during the 2022 World Cup.
Back in November, football enthusiasts around the world tuned in to the controversial tournament – which was held in the gulf region of Qatar.
During the World Cup’s group stages, Mexico faced backlash after their fans were heard singing anti-LGBTQ+ chants during the team’s games against Poland and Saudi Arabia.
In response to the fans’ anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour, FIFA announced that they would be investigating the incidents “on the basis of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”
After a few weeks of silence, the football organisation revealed that the FMF would be receiving a fine of CHF 100,000 ($108,000).
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Association with a fine of CHF 100,000 and one match in a FIFA competition to be played behind closed doors by its men’s national team (suspended for a probationary period) for breaches of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Discrimination) in light of chants by Mexican supporters during the Mexico v. Poland and Saudi Arabia v. Mexico FIFA World Cup™ matches,” FIFA wrote in a statement on 13 January.
Alongside the FMF, the Ecuadorian Football Association, Football Association of Serbia, Argentinian Football Association, and Croatian Football Association were also fined for breaching article 13 of the organisation’s disciplinary code.
This isn’t the first time that Mexico’s football team landed in hot water due to fans’ homophobic behaviour.
Back in 2020, FIFA banned the FMF from two World Cup games due to the aforementioned anti-gay chant.
However their original punishment was reduced in 2021 after the team promised to “eradicate discrimination at matches” (per ESPN).
Over the last few decades, anti-LGBTQ+ chants have run rampant amongst rowdy football fans.
In the UK, the offensive “rent boy” chant has been used against Chelsea players, both past and present, for decades.
In response to the hateful rhetoric, some of England’s most popular football clubs – like Liverpool and Leeds – and the Football Association (FA) have come out condemning the slur, with the latter even creating their own set of fines for the hateful behaviour.
The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) have also defined the chant as a hate crime, with the Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, Max Hill QC, describing it as “vile and disgusting.”
“Hate crime has no place within society, let alone sport,” he told Mirror Sport in January 2022.