FIFA Fines Latin American Countries for Homophobic Slurs
FIFA has fined football associations in five Latin American countries due to fans chanting homophobic slurs during matches.
According to The Associated Press, the international sport's governing body accused the fans of using "insulting and discriminatory chants" during qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup, which is set to take place in Russia.
Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay all received fines from the organization, with Chile receiving the largest fine at 70,000 Swiss francs based on incidents at four different matches.
FIFA also said that Honduras was being investigated for the same accusations, with proceedings still ongoing.
The chair of FIFA's disciplinary committee, Claudio Sulser, said they have been attempting to combat discrimination in international soccer for years and that sanctions were just one method used.
"Disciplinary proceedings alone cannot change behaviour by certain groups of fans that unfortunately goes against the core values of our game," Sulser said, according to The Guardian. "FIFA and the entire football community have to be proactive in educating and inspiring a message of equality and respect across all levels of the game."
FIFA has run into trouble with the LGBT community before over the issue of anti-gay slurs at soccer matches. In 2014, Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) lodged a complaint when Mexican fans used the slur "p*to" during a match, news outlet Logo reported.
At the time, FIFA explained that the word, sometimes used as a homophobic slur, was not intended to insult homosexuals in that context.
Sarah Kate Ellis of the LGBT organization GLAAD criticized FIFA's response to the controversy.
"FIFA's decision to ignore this issue flies in the face of the spirit of the World Cup, one of unity and respect. FIFA should take this opportunity to educate and join the movement for equality in sports," she said.
FIFA has also gotten heat for selecting Russia and Qatar to hold the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, despite discriminatory laws against homosexuality in those nations.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!