ISTANBUL, TURKEY – SEPTEMBER 16: Galatasaray’s supporters opens a banner against racism before the start of the UEFA Champions League group D football match between Galatasaray and Anderlecht at TT Arena Stadium on September16, 2014 in Istanbull, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

FIFA is arguably the most powerful sports governing body in the country that runs a singular sport. As a result, when they levy a penalty against a country, team, or player, it has a profound and important impact.

Recently, seven different countries and its fans participated in homophobic or discriminatory acts that caught FIFA’s eye and resulted in sanctions against those countries.

Croatia received one of the harshest penalties. Sporting News reports the European country must play its first two World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Finland without spectators. Additionally, the country was fined the equivalent of $150,000 United States dollars for incidents that occurred during friendly matches against Israel and Hungary last month. This isn’t the first penalty levied against Croatia in relation to these events by FIFA and UEFA.

Chile was banned from playing at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos in its capital Santiago for two matches. Additonally, the country was fined the equivalent of $30,000 United States dollars because of homophobic chants from fans. The first of the two suspensions will occur during the next 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers between Chile and Bolivia. The second suspension will depend on a probation period served over the next two years.

The other five countries penalized by FIFA are Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Peru. They were all fined for:

“Discriminatory and unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances.”

Mexico was fined around $35,000 US dollars for its cases, Honduras around $40,000, El Salvador $35,000, Paraguay $20,000, and Peru $15,000.

The violations were turned in to FIFA through match reports and the Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System.

“(FIFA) has put in place a comprehensive strategy to tackle discrimination, which includes the FIFA Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, training, awareness-raising and the support of member associations in developing robust educational and preventive measures.” – FIFA’s statement.

More information on the sanctions, fines, and probation periods can be found in FIFA’s official document here.

[Sporting News]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.