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.
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.