Mexico Cleared By FIFA Over Anti-Gay Chants Ahead Of Croatia Match: El Tri Fans Can And Will Continue ‘Puto’ Chant

El Tri fans
Fans cheer before the 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Mexico at the Castelao arena

With only minutes before Mexico squares up against Croatia, the team and more specifically their dedicated fan base have been cleared by FIFA of improper conduct following a large number of complaints claimed the fan base continually engaged in anti-gay chants.

The chant is directed at the opposing team’s goalkeepers before their goal kicks, and is known to be a part of the live Mexican soccer experience. The chant revolves around the word “puto,” which apparently can be a derogatory term referring to homosexuals, or a term referring to male prostitues. According to Soccerly, the chant “happens in every single stadium in Mexico and almost no one can be excused from participating in this act,” so it should come as no surprise that despite the world stage of the World Cup 2014 games, “El Tri” fans behave in the exact same way as they do in their home stadiums; with men, women and children alike join in to yell “puto” in unison with thousands of other fans.

A spokeswoman for FIFA stated that despite the investigation there would be no repercussions for Mexico fans. The spokesman said, “Disciplinary proceedings were opened against Mexico for improper conduct of spectators during the match, Mexico vs. Cameroon. The FIFA disciplinary committee has decided that the incident in question is not considered insulting in this specific contest. All charges against the Mexican FA have been dismissed.”

Fare reported that Brazilian fans that have been recently picking up the chant and using it against Mexico, were also investigated by FIFA, and like Mexico will not receive any disciplinary action. Fare also stated that FIFA’s decision to not follow through with disciplinary procedures went against several experts’ opinions and advice.

The Guardian reported that a spokesperson from Fare stated,  "If the decision is that the use of the word “puto” is not homophobic then this is disappointing and contradicts the expert advice of the Mexican government's own anti-discrimination body Conapred [El Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación] and numerous other experts. Independent academics that we have taken the time to consult also confirm what many football fans in South America have known for a long time. A genuine zero tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination will mean that Fifa will need to take some difficult decisions. In the longer term it is the only way to set out clear leadership and deal with a real issue in football."

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