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Mexico to play next two home World Cup Qualifiers behind closed doors

The Mexican national team has enjoyed a strong start to its Concacaf World Cup qualifying campaign, but one issue is continuing to plague El Tri, and it will now cost the Octagonal leaders.

Mexico will play its next pair of qualifiers in an empty stadium because of persistent anti-gay chants by fans, FIFA announced Monday. The Mexican federation was also fined $110,000 for charges of “discriminatory behavior by supporters.” and is the latest punishment in a long-standing campaign to stop fans from directing slurs at opposing players.

Mexico will host Costa Rica on January 30 and Panama on February 2 in an empty Estadio Azteca, which will also cost the federation millions of dollars in lost revenue. The Azteca was also empty when El Tri opened qualifying in September against Jamaica because of a prior FIFA punishment.

Anti-gay chants were heard in October when Mexico hosted qualifiers against both Canada and Honduras which led to the punishment from FIFA this week.

Mexico continues its qualifying campaign this month against the U.S. men’s national team on Nov. 12 in Cincinnati and Canada in Edmonton on Nov. 16. Tata Martino’s side sits top of the octagonal round standings on 14 points, three points clear of the USMNT through six matches played.


  1. This might be a good place to point out the shameful lack of action by the US Soccer Federation and US cities. As per FIFA rules the US Soccer federation has to sanction every friendly club and national team match that Mexican teams play in the USA. This chant has been going on for many, many years and US Soccer could have ended it on US soil but they did not. They chose the revenue instead. Additionally US cities continually let Mexican teams use their venues despite the obviousness of the chant. They chose the revenue as well which is galling considering how many of these cities claim to be woke. Then there are broadcasters who bid to show these games on TV. Just remember the next time your team / city has a pride event that it is really more about the green than the rainbow.

  2. This is so stupid. This can end quickly. Option (A) In the game, you hear the chant, you give the captain a yellow card. They do it again, the captain gets a red card. They keep doing it, you keep handing out cards until they don’t have enough to play and forfeit.

    You announce it before the game.

    Option (B) If a chant is heard at a game, the other team is awarded a goal.

    Option (C) if the chant is heard at a game, the team is dokked a point per chant.

    I strongly suspect this chant would be finished immediately.

    Somehow, though, I suspect this won’t happen and, I am lukewarm on the whole banning a chant anyway. How about FIFA stops them from dousing a kicker and/or a field in beer, piss, and batteries. Then, once that is accomplished we can worry about the anti-gay man-whore chant.

  3. Dock points. But dock enough that despite a winning record they would be in danger of not qualifying.

    There needs to be real punishment.

    • Agree. This is better than banning home fans because it affects all the OTHER teams in the octagonal equally. The current sanction however benefits the two teams that will be at the games at the expense of Mexico but also the other 5 teams in the competition, because qualification is a zero sum game.

  4. I’m sure that’ll stop it.

    Dock points, forfeits, banned from competing. If it’s that big of an issue than punish correspondingly…because as we’ve seen the minute they’re back in, it’s the same thing all over again.


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