FIFA has handed down another punishment against Mexico’s soccer federation due to fan use of anti-gay slurs. The use of a specific slur has resulted in the soccer federation being fined $100,000 and the Mexican national team being required to play two of its home World Cup qualifying matches in front of no fans. The matches in question will be against Costa Rica on January 30 and Panama on February 2.
This is the second time El Tri has been punished for anti-gay chants. This past June, FIFA handed down a similar two-game ban, affecting their qualifiers on September 2 against Jamaica and October 7 against Canada. The soccer federation was also fined $65,000. However, the ban was reduced to just the Jamaica match after the federation argued the chants occurred at an under-23 match and this would affect the men’s national team.
Of course, as Outsports noted above, these chants have not been confined to just under-23 matches. And the question becomes whether this kind of punishment will ever make a difference. Will FIFA eventually impose punishment for more significant matches or outright dock the team qualifying points? That would likely send a bigger message, but FIFA does not seem ready to take that kind of action.