World Cup 2014: Brazil, Mexico Could Face Disciplinary Action Over Homophobic Chants
World Cup host country Brazil could face punishment from soccer's world governing body over homophobic chants allegedly made by fans during the country's game against Mexico, which ended in a draw.
The Fare network, which is monitoring the tournament for discriminatory behavior, reported to FIFA that Brazil supporters chanted the word “puto” — which can mean male prostitute and be used as a gay slur in Spanish and Portuguese — at Mexico's star goalie Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexican fans, meanwhile, has been cited for using the same chant during their opening round win over Cameroon.
FIFA confirmed that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the two countries over the “improper conduct” of their fans. It's likely that they will escape with a warning for a first offense, but if the chants continue, the two countries could be hit with point deductions.
Russia and Croatia, meanwhile, are facing possibly more immediate action over “neo-Nazi” banners that were displayed by fans during their opening matches. The banners bared racist and anti-Semitic messages. Both Russia and Croatia have been penalized at various international tournaments before for anti-Semitic behavior and for making racist "monkey calls."
“The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable," said Piara Powar, executive director of Fare and a member of FIFA’s anti-racism task force, to British newspaper The Telegraph. "There is some rapid education required before it begins to run out of control."
FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, has campaigned in recent years to snuff out bigotry in soccer. He has been a strong advocate for points deductions, saying "sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment.”