FIFA has announced that it will fine the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (US $ 109,000) after anti-gay chanting by fans during the Mexico-Iceland game in Arlington, Texas on May 29 could be heard.
A FIFA spokesperson confirmed to ESPN Mexico that this latest penalty loop would not include any other sanctions such as banning fans from its games.
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In June, Mexico was ordered to play its next two official home games behind closed doors after anti-gay chanting last April during the CONCACAF pre-Olympic qualifier in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
“The singing is discriminatory and takes us away from FIFA competitions,” said Mexican association president Yon de Luisa during a press conference in June on the suspension. “For those who think it’s fun too [do it], I have news for you. It is not.”
The Mexican federation has been fined 16 for singing since 2015 and paid just over $ 336,000 since the first instance. During the May 29 match, FIFA’s three-step protocol against discrimination was put into effect after fans repeatedly directed the anti-gay slur against Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Runarsson after kicks.
The first step of the protocol calls for announcers at the stadium to urge fans to stop the discriminatory action. The second step allows the referee to temporarily stop the game in the event of repetition, and the third step can lead to the game being abandoned.
In Arlington, referee Ted Unkel was asked to suspend play in the 62nd minute, although the game eventually ended, resulting in a 2-1 win for Mexico.
Although the FMF was spared a more serious penalty this time around, recent cases of singing at games could still result in additional penalties.
In June the singing could be clearly heard at the semifinals and finals of the CONCACAF Nations League in Mexico against Costa Rica and the USA.
On July 10, during the El Tri Gold Cup opener against Trinidad and Tobago, the chant continued even after the first two steps of FIFA Protocol were enforced.
On the eve of the Mexican League restart on July 22, a press conference was scheduled by both Liga MX and FMF to address the ongoing problem of discrimination against homosexuals at games.
The upcoming season, tentatively titled Apertura (Opening) 2021, is expected to be renamed as part of a campaign to curb the use of singing in Mexican football.