SAO PAULO – The World Cup programs of Mexico and Brazil could face disciplinary action from FIFA over chants their fans were heard to shout during their game Tuesday afternoon in Fortaleza.PHOTOS: Beautiful people in Brazil | Brazil protests | Soccer fanatics | Fan tattoos
The Telegraph of London reports FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico over “improper conduct” of their supporter section at that game.
The Telegraph stated that The Fare network reported the two countries to FIFA over homophobic slurs. It is reported that Mexico supporters shouted the word “puto”, generally when the opposing keeper releases a goal kick. The word translates as “male whore,” and it is regarded as a homophobic slur.
Russia and Croatia also were reported to FIFA by The Fare network for alleged neo-Nazi banners displayed at their teams’ games.
“It seems that some fans of some countries will take their hatred halfway around the world,” Piara Powar, executive director of Fare and a member of the FIFA anti-racism task force, told The Telegraph. “These images need to be acted on urgently.
“The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable … 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.”
According to the newspaper, Mexico and Brazil could escape with warnings because these would be considered to be first offenses, but both Russia and Croatia could be classified as repeat offenders and would be subject possibly to point deductions in the group standings.
World soccer has had a number of problems with racist fan incidents, notably in the spring when a fan at a La Liga game in Spain threw a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves. As part of a planned response in the event such an incident occurred, Alves picked up the banana and ate it, and he and such players as Neymar of Brazil began a Twitter campaign hash-tagged “We are all monkeys.”
The Telegraph reports Russia’s conduct could endanger the organization of the 2018 World Cup in that country, with renowned Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast warning black players could boycott if such behavior among fans persists in that nation.