FIFA Will Investigate Anti-Gay Slurs At World Cup From Mexico & Brazil Fans
There has been an epidemic of homophobia within the World Cup stands for years, but FIFA, sparked by fans of Teams Mexico and Brazil, is finally ready to do something about it. The slurs in question were thrown around on Tuesday when the two national teams faced off, and include "puta," an anti-gay slur that fans use loosely from the stands.
The slur, which translates into "fag" or "man-whore" or "coward," is chanted during an opposing team's goal kick.
On Tuesday, Brazilian fans stole the chant and used it against Mexican players. FARE, the anti-discrimination group monitoring abusive fan behavior at the event, reported the chants to FIFA, the London Telegraph reports. Croatia and Russia fans were also reported for their fans unfurling neo-Nazi banners.
It's been amazing to see how many people have commented on various websites defending the use of "puto" and claiming its not homophobic. Some point to it as a Mexican tradition, ignoring the fact that its use at games only started in 2003 (I have shirts older than that).
CONAPRED, the Mexican federal body charged with tackling discrimination, roundly condemned the use of "puto" at soccer matches, saying correctly: "Seeking to eliminate this practice is not trying to stifle free expression, but avoid the normalization of sexism, machismo and homophobia, understanding that the full exercise of all freedom has to be done in respect to the rights of third parties, without discrimination."
"It seems that some fans of some countries will take their hatred halfway around the world. These images need to be acted on urgently," Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, which brought the heavy use of slurs to FIFA's attention this week, said. "The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable. There is some rapid education required before it begins to run out of control."
"FIFA has some strong regulations in place and we hope they use them. Zero tolerance is the approach set out," Powar adds. "It is what is required here."