Mexico & Brazil to Face Disciplinary Action Over Fans' Homophobic Insults

by Leigh Teschner on Jun.19.2014
  1. Yelling the word "puto" (a derogatory term to refer to homosexuals) at the opposing goalkeeper when he takes a goal kick has become a Mexican trademark in soccer stadiums. This ritual is part of the live Mexican soccer experience. It happens in every single stadium in Mexico and almost no one can be excused from participating in this act.

    Children who aren't allowed to use this word at the dinner table are excused when they join the thousands of fans at the stadium who yell this insult. Educated women who are likely not to use this word in an ordinary conversation also let go of their throats and scream the word "puto" cheerfully in unison with the rest of the crowd.

    During the Mexico vs Brazil match in Fortaleza, Brazilian fans began to imitate the Mexican ritual and FIFA took note of it. FIFA's concern is that this ritual, which they label as homophobic will spread to fans from other countries.

    The Telegraph and the BBC are reporting that FIFA has started a disciplinary process against Mexico and Brazil after being alerted by the FARE network (Football Against Racism in Europe) of such homophobic acts occurring at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza. Both countries are to be issued a warning for their fans' behavior. 

    If fans are caught taking part on this practice in the upcoming games, FIFA could threaten these teams with point deductions hoping to prevent acts like these from happening again during the World Cup.

    The question is how can the Mexican Football Federation stop their fans from performing this ritual, which is now almost done instinctively. The subject of homophobic and misogynist* insults in Mexican culture goes beyond soccer and to correct what happens in stadiums is nearly an impossible task- for this change to happen, first you would have to transform the idiosyncrasy of an entire nation.

    *The use of the word "puto" as an insult in Mexican culture is misogynist in nature as it is used not to describe a homosexual, but more commonly to label a man as a coward. Coward in this case meaning one who does not perform in a manly manner therefore he behaves like a woman.

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