Soccer : CONCACAF Expresses Concern Over Persistent Homophobic Chants in Stadiums

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CONCACAF Homophobic Chants in Stadiums

CONCACAF’s Reaction to Recent Incidents

The governing body for soccer in North, Central America, and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, has voiced its concerns over the ongoing issue of homophobic chants in stadiums. This response comes in the wake of incidents that occurred during the Nations League final held the previous Sunday, where Mexican supporters targeted players from the United States with discriminatory insults.

Denunciation of Discriminatory Chants

The final match, which saw the United States defeat Mexico 2-0, securing their third consecutive victory in the competition, was marred by these chants. CONCACAF strongly condemned these actions in a statement, highlighting their disappointment at the continued prevalence of such issues during significant events. The organization noted that the lead-up to the 2026 World Cup, co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, should be an opportunity to enhance the sport’s image in the region.

Interruptions and Previous Sanctions

The referee was forced to halt the game twice due to homophobic insults aimed at Matt Turner, the American goalkeeper, during his clearances. This was not the first occurrence of such incidents: a 2023 semi-final match of the same league in Las Vegas was also interrupted for similar reasons, including the throwing of objects onto the field.

Responses and Measures Taken

The Mexican Football Federation has faced multiple fines, totaling $650,000 (about €600,000), due to this discriminatory chant. FIFA also required Mexico to play two matches behind closed doors during the qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup, in an effort to eradicate this repetitive misconduct.

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In response, CONCACAF launched an awareness campaign in 2021 aimed at ending these discriminatory practices and enhancing mutual respect among spectators and participants at matches.

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