The Mexican Football Association pledges to take action

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When Yon De Luisa took office as President of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) in 2018, the governing body of football in a country where football is king, the extent of the association’s efforts to eradicate homophobic “P ***” singing was the extent of the association An unspecific, ineffective campaign that allowed the vocals to ring freely at almost every game the Mexican men’s national team played.

Three years later, De Luisa and FMF have one goal: to silence singing by the end of 2021.

And they have a plan. De Luisa outlined this in an interview with Emox News when the association launched a new campaign along with a commitment: They pledge to work with stadium security, throw out fans who participate in the singing, and deliver the three-step protocol to FIFA in each game follow what you have control. That means PA announcements and game stoppages wherever the vocals occur – possibly at upcoming US friendlies.

In contrast to before, the association also recognizes that singing is discriminatory. The Spanish word “p ***” has multiple meanings and fans have long argued that shouting it en masse against opposing goalkeepers has nothing to do with homosexuality. However, FIFA has decided that it is homophobic. FARE, a leading anti-discrimination group, has stated that the word “derogatory” refers to gay men.

“We understand that, even if it does not work with this intention, if other people feel it that way, then it is,” said De Luisa. “That’s why we want to exterminate it.

“If you pay for a ticket, you cannot discriminate against anyone,” he added.

And so they started two videos, one in English, one in Spanish. One is vague, but calls the singing “discriminatory”. The other is powerful and direct. It shows players and other prominent Mexican soccer characters urging fans to refrain from doing it:

“If you shout” p *** “the referee will stop the game and remove you from the stadium.

“If the singing can be heard again, the referee will stop the game and could take the players to the locker rooms.

“And if it happens again we may have to lose the game.”

These are the three steps and that is essentially the association’s new commitment. The chant was first enforced in 2019 after the new FIFA protocols were passed. A similar campaign started in the fall. But then the pandemic struck and fans watched from home. Now supporters – including millions in the US – are returning to the stadiums to follow El TriFMF renews this commitment.

The question now is what will happen next.

The plan of the Mexican Federation

So let’s start with step 1. How exactly do you throw out each of the thousands of fans who shout the word every time an opposing goalkeeper approaches a goal kick?

“From our past experience, we believe it starts in a small part of the United States [stands]”Said De Luisa of the singing.” If you can hear the entire stadium, it’s because it happened several times during the game.

“So the idea is with all the subtitle TV in the stadium and with additional security – because there will be additional security in the stands – we can do that [identify] right where it starts. “

And it’s not just security that will throw these fans out after their first offense. Stadium operations will show the ejections on jumbotrons, De Luisa said. “This is a compelling move that really helps the entire stadium to realize, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be the guy on screen. “

And no, fans do not receive personal warnings. It’s a blow and you’re out, said De Luisa. “Because you have already been warned – warnings are displayed on the huge screen before the game. There will be thorough campaigns in the various locations. So the warning will be there. “

The “p ***” chant has affected almost every major game the Mexican men’s national team has played in recent years. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

If the chant continues, Step 2 involves significant game stoppages and places enforcement in the hands of the referee, who is not officially part of this multi-faceted FMF campaign. However, De Luisa stated that there is a match commissioner who can communicate with the fourth official who in turn can communicate with the referee and alert the referee to chants that would deserve an interruption.

In official games controlled by FIFA or CONCACAF, the FMF has less control. CONCACAF, the North and Central American governing body of football, has also not dealt with singing in the past. However, De Luisa said that he had spoken to CONCACAF and that CONCACAF was “fully committed” to the same protocols. A CONCACAF spokesperson confirmed that they will apply for the Nations League final and Gold Cup this summer and that CONCACAF will launch its own campaign this summer.

“The goalkeeper chant has no place in the game and we want to leave it in the past,” said the CONCACAF spokesman.

Perhaps the hardest question of all is what would happen if steps 1 and 2 didn’t work. Would FMF or CONCACAF or whoever is in charge really give up a match?

“We don’t want to get to that point but if the game has to be abandoned it will,” said De Luisa. However, he and a spokesperson indicated that intermediate steps can be taken. Or authorities could repeat step 1 or 2 instead of making the unprecedented jump to step 3.

A timeline to the eradication of singing

Much of the FMF’s public rhetoric relates to the potential consequences of the competition – that FIFA could punish Mexico in the upcoming men’s World Cup qualification Until two years ago, the punishments for singing were limited to fines. However, FIFA’s updated Disciplinary Code, announced just days after the chant was circulated at the 2019 Gold Cup Final, makes it clear that the team whose fans were the perpetrators would be treated if discriminatory chants trigger Step 3 and a Aborted game would be an forfeited loss.

When asked whether this threat was legitimate, De Luisa said, “Absolutely. Absolutely. And FIFA has been really straightforward and strict, telling us and other associations that if you don’t solve your problem, there will be sanctions. “

However, the hope of LGBTQ fans is that this campaign is more than a response to the threat. The hope is that it is a statement of inclusivity and principle. De Luisa seemed to confirm this.

“We believe and we understand that whatever we do affects another person … we shouldn’t do it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if we believe that it wasn’t intentional to harm anyone. If the other person feels that there is an act of discrimination, we shouldn’t do that. “

When De Luisa was asked to clarify that the campaign was a declaration that the “p ***” chant was homophobic and discriminatory, he said “Yes” without hesitation.

He and other members of the association know that the eradication will be gradual. “We understand that it won’t be an easy task. It will take some time, ”he said. “But we believe that Mexican fans and fans around the world will understand that this is not right.”

When asked for a goal, a goal length for this project, he started listing El TriThe busy schedule for 2021: some US friendlies and the Nations League final next month; then the Gold Cup; then eight World Cup qualification in autumn. The inconsistency of the venue and competition will prolong the process, he noted.

But he said, “I really believe this will be history by the end of the year.”

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