Football officials in Mexico are appealing a fine that was handed down as punishment for crowds shouting homophobic slurs, Gay Star News reports.
FIFA have fined the Mexican Football Federation (also known as the FMF) around £26,500 for poor crowd behaviour during Mexico’s World Cup qualifying match against Honduras on September 6.
However, the federation has hit back, claiming chants of “puto” (which is often used in a similar way to “fag”) directed at opposition goalkeepers as they take goal kicks is “not insulting.”
FMF General Secretary Guillermo Cantu refuted the accusations of homophobia, saying: “We will fight the sanction because we don’y agree with the connotation that FIFA has given the chant.”
He added that “puto” was “not considered insulting in this specific context.”
“We will seek to explain [to FIFA] that the chant in Mexico isn’t done with the intention that FIFA has interpreted, and in the Brazil World Cup the disciplinary committee determined that in this context the chant wasn’t discriminatory,” he continued.
However, Mexican journalist Juan Villoro has backed FIFA’s decision, saying: “It’s a big deal because the chant is certainly an atrocity.
“It’s not a chant Mexicans should be proud of; it is clearly homophobic.”
Earlier this year, Mexican footballers came together to front a new campaign video calling for an end to homophobic chants in the game – find our more here.