The Federación Mexicana de Futbol (FMF) is under fire once again for a seemingly age old problem.
The traditional “puto” chant is part of an intimidation tactic. The cheer builds momentum as an opposing goalkeeper makes his run to restart play, and then it crashes over him as he kicks the ball yelling, “Ehhhhhhh, puto!”
FIFA has fined the FMF 10 times in 14 matches, for a total a little over $145,000. The FMF has yet to pay all of the fines, because of a lawsuit it filed against FIFA, which awaits a decision in the Court of Arbitration of Sport. The most recent fine is around $10,000 and was announced on Tuesday during a Mexico-Panama World Cup Qualifier on September 1.
As the fines continue to build up, it begs the question whether or not the money will ever have a true impact on the people it needs to affect the most—the fans. They continue to claim that the mainstream has misconstrued the meaning of the chant and it’s more of an “innocent” taunt than a homophobic slur. But if these behaviors are accepted and validated as innocent on the field and in the stands, who’s to say they won’t be dismissed similarly on the school yard or in the work place?
The one thing that has worked on a small scale is FIFA’s “three-step program” during the Confederations Cup. First there was an announcement at the stadium when the chant was heard, telling the fans to stop. If that failed to end it, the referee would suspend the game until the chant stopped. If that didn’t work, the referee would cancel the match. With this policy in place, the chant didn’t even occur.
So now the ball is in the FMF’s court. Should it implement this three-step program full time, or keep getting fined?