Mexico’s national soccer team is asking fans to drop the popular “Eh, puto!” chant after FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, announced disciplinary procedures on Monday following its use during Sunday’s World Cup match between Mexico and Germany.
The team issued the plea today on social media, asking fans not to cry puto in the soccer stadiums. “You do not support us with this shout.” One of the team’s stars did the same.
Striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández posted a message on Instagram today asking fans to stop the practice. “To all Mexican fans in the stadiums, don’t shout puto,” Hernández wrote. “Let’s not risk another fine.”
It’s not the first time that players on the team have appealed to fans to stop the chants, but to little avail.
The practice, which has become traditional at Mexican soccer games, is used by fans to taunt the opposing team’s goalie as he kicks the ball into play. Puto means faggot or male prostitute.
The chant gained international notice during the 2014 World Cup but FIFA took no action at the time.
However, it sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) 12 times for fans’ homophobic chanting during the recent World Cup qualifying rounds with two warnings for the first two offences and fines for another 10.
And in Russia the organization is employing three observers at each match to report discriminatory behavior by spectators.
There are thousands of Mexicans in Russia for the big tournament, which is held every four years. At Sunday’s game, Mexico pulled a surprise 1-0 upset over defending champion Germany.
Mexico’s next match is against South Korea on Saturday at 10:00am CDT.
UPDATE June 20, 4:16pm CDT: FIFA announced a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs (US $10,000) against the Mexican Football Federation after reviewing evidence of the puto chant on Sunday in Russia.