The World Cup in Brazil has gotten off to a brilliant start with high scoring games and attacking football aplenty. But it seems that nothing good can last forever in the world of football and fans of Mexico and Brazil have done their best to put a dampener on the tournament.
According to The Telegraph, both the hosts and the Mexicans could face punishment for the ‘homophobic’ language they were chanting out during the two sides Group A game in Fortaleza. The Fare network, which is keeping a close eye on discriminatory behaviour at the tournament, alerted FIFA to supporters’ use of the word “Puto”, which is used as a derogatory term towards homosexuals.
The Mexicans have already been cited for using the word in the tournament, aiming it towards Cameroon players in their opening match. Fifa confirmed that they had opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico over the “improper conduct” of their spectators in that game. Now it looks like they’ll have an increased punishment from the governing body.
“It seems that some fans of some countries will take their hatred halfway around the world. These images need to be acted on urgently,” Piara Powar, executive director of Fare and member of FIFA’s anti-racism task force.
“The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable. There is some rapid education required before it begins to run out of control.
“Fifa has some strong regulations in place and we hope they use them. Zero tolerance is the approach set out. It is what is required here,” Powar added.
Brazil could escape punishment as it is their first offence, Mexico may not be as lucky but could still come away with all their points if the two games were classified as the same offence.
Racism and Anti-Semitism
Two countries that may not be so lucky however are Russia and Croatia who face action for neo-Nazi banners that were present in their games against South Korea and Brazil respectively. Supporters of the two nations are repeat offenders on the national stage and it looks like FIFA could well have had enough of their actions.
With the organization really looking to crack down, under FIFA’s own disciplinary code both teams could be hit with points deductions.
The World Cup is the second major tournament in a row in which their fans have been accused of racism, with both sanctioned more than once by Uefa during the European Championship two years ago. Russia were hit with a suspended six-point penalty for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign for various offences, including the display of illicit banners and monkey chants. Banners at their game on Tuesday contained the Celtic Cross, a symbol used by neo-Nazis and white supremacists worldwide.
Let's hope FIFA are actually serious about punishing teams.