Mexican fans at World Cup 2022 Mexican fans have been a passionate presence at the 2022 World Cup, but some may have gone too far by yelling a prohibited antigay slur during Tuesday's match.

FIFA investigates alleged use of homophobic chants at Mexico’s first World Cup match

Mexico's team faces possible sanction over supposed chant of a notorious antigay slur

FIFA has launched an investigation after Mexican spectators allegedly shouted homophobic chants during the World Cup soccer match between Mexico and Poland in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.

Soccer’s international governing body told the Reforma media group that its disciplinary committee initiated a probe against the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) due to the chants of Mexican fans during the match, which was a scoreless tie.

Reforma reported that it detected the use of the “Eh, Puto!” homophobic slur when the Polish goalkeeper took a goal kick in the 26th minute of the game.

Puto means faggot or male prostitute in colloquial Spanish. Mexican soccer fans have long used the derogatory chant when the opposition team’s goalkeeper is taking a goal kick, but FIFA and the FMF have taken steps to eradicate the practice.

Hector Herrera of the World Cup Mexican National Team 2022
Mexican National Team member Héctor Herrera. While fans may debate whether whether they should be allowed to use the phrase, the team will be the target of any FIFA sanctions. Webcams de México

Consequences for the chant have included the suspension of games and forcing El Tri, as Mexico’s national team is known, to play World Cup qualifying matches without fans in the stands.

FIFA told the Reforma group that it will sanction any identified incidents of discrimination in accordance with its disciplinary code and policy of zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination.

The newspaper El Universal published an article about FIFA’s investigation under the headline “Mexican team in danger of being disqualified from Qatar 2022.”

Possible sanctions include a fine, the loss of points and “even exclusion from the tournament,” the newspaper said. El Universal also said that insults were hurled at the referee during the Mexico-Poland match, while Reforma reported that the word maricón (fag) was used in another chant shouted by Mexican fans.

With reports from El Norte and El Universal 

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