Mexican goalkeeper pleads with fans to stop homophobic chants

The Mexican national football squad’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has appealed to fans to stop using a homophobic chant following a number of fines. and punishments.

Ochoa spoke to reporters to urge fans not to use the homophobic chant.

“We have to take each opportunity to tell the people to create consciousness, as the federation has for a while,” Ochoa said.

“We know the chant is not about offending anyone, but there are people that see it like that and we could be affected.”

“I believe people want to continue watching the national team in its stadium, we want the people there supporting us and the federation is searching for the best way to get that message across.”

The Mexico Football Federation (FMF) gave evidence at the highest court in sport, the Court of Arbitration against the fines, arguing that the chant ‘puto’ is not homophobic.

The fines were imposed totalling 85,000 Swiss francs following five World Cup qualifying matches since November 2015.

‘Puto’ was chanted by fans at the matches while opposition goalkeepers were taking goal kicks

Mexico was not the only team to be fined for the offence, as other teams’ fans also made similar chants which are heard across Latin American football.

FIFA in December issued bigger fines to England’s football association for wearing poppies than it has to countries whose fans chanted homophobic abuse.

The boss of one country fined, Mexico, has previously claimed homophobic chants are not discriminatory and should not receive fines at all.

The country’s fans frequently scream the anti-gay slur “puto”, a derogatory word for a male prostitute or gay man.

GLAAD has previously criticised FIFA for not taking action on homophobic chants at the last World Cup.

Chile was in December  given yet another stadium ban by FIFA after their fans failed to stop using homophobic chants at matches.