Eradicating homophobia in his stadiums before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the challenge Mexico faces if it does not want to lose the playoffs that start in September 2020.
Mexico has set itself the challenge of eradicating homophobia in its stadiums with the hope of not getting the wrath of FIFA before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Last incident: Last week, during a meeting against Panama at the Atzeca stadium of the Mexican capital, the goalkeeper of the local team was rewarded with insult "Puto" (in French "Homosexual"), become almost ritual. His mischief? To have dared to kick in touch.
The country has already been fined 14 fines by FIFA but they have proved futile and the body is now threatening harsher measures. Mexico, which is not the only country concerned, is in the sights of football and may well be deprived of the elimination scheduled for September 2020.
Worried, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) went into high gear by announcing in September the launch of a huge fan campaign. Objective: to educate fans whose excesses are translated into homophobic insults against fallen players. A game far from won.
"Songs of war"
If Mexican supporters support this campaign, others consider it limits their right to sing what they call "Songs of war". Eusebio Valdez, 52, defends his right to shout what he wants. "Every cry is unique to each country. In the countries of South America as in Europe, each team shouted. They are war cries ", he believes. "I do not understand that we are banned because it's in our culture. It does not hurt anyone ".
The specialized press in Mexico dates back to 2003 the first homophobic insults heard in the country's stadiums. They then targeted the goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez who played for the team of Chivas, rival club Atlas of Guadalajara. Before the match against Panama, the FMF, which did not respond to AFP's requests, had anticipated. "Support the team without offending their rival. Do not get offside » posted a sign prominently in the stadium. Giant screens broadcast ads from various personalities of the world of football: "Shout whatever you want, except what can get you off the field".
"If we do not get results before the playoffs, our participation will be jeopardized", recently warned FMF president Yon de Luisa.
According to him, the possible sanctions that FIFA could impose are a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs (18,180 euros), in private or partial closed, or even a deduction of points. The FMF has also joined a government institution (Conapred) to combat discrimination. Together they have defined a plan of action that begins with an in-depth diagnosis.
"Football is a showcase for the public. If we allow discriminatory acts in the stadiums, it means that we are able to tolerate them outside. "says Alexandra Haas, leader of Conapred. insult "Puto" However, it is not the only one to emerge during matches. Clarification was demanded when in 2010 the then Panamanian player Felipe Baloy, a member of the Santos club, complained that he had been "Monkey", "Negro" and " slave " by his rivals from the Pumas team during a match.
"I can see why we want to remove what becomes a habit at home and in the world. It will do good football. But it's not fair that we have to pay the consequences of some isolated supporters "says Erick Ramirez, an 18-year-old supporter. "But we must accept to do so, because the deadline for the World Cup is approaching"he adds.
++ Mexico launches massive campaign against homophobia in stadiums
Soccer. World 2022: Mexico wants to eradicate homophobia in its stadiumsOuest-France.fr