June 2 – The end of the ‘puta’ chant could be near. With its Nations League finals kicking off tomorrow and the showpiece Concacaf Gold Cup following hard on its heels in July, Concacaf has launched an anti-discrimination campaign under the tag line ‘What’s Wrong is Wrong’.
Top of the list of first objectives within the campaign is getting “fans to support eradicating the offensive goalkeeper chant”, said Concacaf.
“We are determined to eradicate this chant and believe it has no place in our sport. Football should be enjoyable and welcoming to all, but this chant is offensive and risks excluding the LGBT+ community from our game,” said Concacaf general secretary, Philippe Moggio.
“Put simply, it is wrong and after such a challenging 2020 when we were all kept apart and couldn’t enjoy simple things like attending a match, I hope fans can come together this summer and enjoy following their teams in a positive way.”
Concacaf said it will apply FIFA’s three-step protocol in the Concacaf Nations League Finals and Gold Cup this summer. “Ahead of each match, a video explaining the protocol will be played on giant screens to explain that discriminatory chanting could result in matches being paused, suspended, or in the worst case scenarios even abandoned,” said Concacaf.
A dramatic step at its most extreme level of game abandonment, but one the confederation says it will carry out if required. Concacaf says it is not trying to eradicate the passionate support of teams but is encouraging fans to support teams positively as they return to stadiums.
The ‘puta’ chant has been a staple of Mexican fan chanting and the overriding feeling of the last four years has been that it is offensive and that it is time to move on, something that is backed by the Mexican Federation who have continually faced governing body pressure to influence change.
The ‘#WhatsWrongIsWrong’ campaign will highlight the fact that the chant would not be accepted anywhere else in everyday life. A series of social media videos will point out that if it is wrong at a youth sports event, at home, or in other settings, then it is wrong in the stadium.
Ending the chant would be significant mark in the battle against discrimination and in particular for this new campaign that wants to promote a game that is open and inclusive for everyone.
“This campaign is a very important step in our efforts to eradicate the goalkeeper chant, and to make it absolutely clear that we oppose all forms of discrimination in football,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani. “Our aim is to educate and inform fans that even if their intention is not to offend, this chant does offend many people and has no place in the game. The Mexican Football Federation have themselves made it very clear that they want their fans to cease this chant and leave it in the past.”
The first test will be tomorrow night in Denver when Mexico face Honduras in the semi-final of the Nations League.
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