So far, the 2018 World Cup has lived up to the hype on the field, producing a major upset, plenty of great goals, and shocking defeats. Unfortunately, the Russia-based tournament is also living up to the expectation that there would be lots of unfriendly situations for LBGTQ fans before, during, and after games.
Last week, before the tournament had even started, a gay couple was attacked while trying to hail a cab, sending both of them to the hospital. The incident sparks concerns that these games would be marred by human rights-related problems and violations.
However, it turns out that Russian fans aren’t the only ones with some potential animosity geared towards the LGBTQ community. Per ESPN, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico following loud anti-gay chants by fans heard during their historic World Cup win over Germany this past Sunday. Specifically, a collection of Mexican supporters chanted a slur when Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was preparing to take a goal kick at the 24th minute.
For the uninitiated, this is unfortunately nothing new for Mexico fans. Per Outsports, the slur has long been a popular cheer among certain sections of their fanbase. They cheered it loudly at the last World Cup and punishment was not handed down. And despite a Mexican beer company’s campaign to get fans to chant “Putin” instead, it doesn’t seem like that stuck. The FMF, Mexico’s governing soccer body, has been running educational campaigns of their own to get fans to avoid the chant. They even tweeted out before the match that anyone heard doing so might be barred from future games.
En Rusia, evita que te retiren tu FAN ID o ser detenido. ✋🏻
Recuerda que eres representante de la mejor afición del mundo. 🙏🏼 🇲🇽
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) June 18, 2018
“In Russia, avoid being detained and having your fan Fan ID taken away. Remember that you represent the best fanbase in the world,” says the tweet.
Russian security officials previously said they would remove anyone shouting the slur during a match but it’s unclear if that happened this past weekend.
All eyes will be on Mexico on Saturday when they take on South Korea and attempt to build on the momentum from their upset win over Germany. However, all ears will be listening out for a certain slur as well. Given that there’s an investigation ongoing now, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, FIFA does about it.