Mexico hit with fan ban for World Cup qualifiers as fears raised for impact on 2026 hosting

June 20 – World federation FIFA have sanctioned the Mexico football federation (FMF) for the ‘puta’ homophobic chants from supporters during Olympic qualifying matches for the men’s team. As a punishment, Mexicans fans will be banned from El Tri’s first two World Cup qualifiers. 

The incidents in question date back to matches against both the Dominican Republic and the USA. FIFA also slapped the FMF with a $65,000 fine. “The risk of the 2026 World Cup exists if this does not stop now,” said FMF chairman Yon de Luisa, who is also involved in organising the North American World Cup that will be staged by the United States, Canada and Mexico. “How can we host a World Cup if we are going to have our stadiums empty?”

“If we don’t stop this now, the effect it can have on the football industry in México can be devastating. I hope this is the first and last sanction that FIFA imposes.”

It’s not the first time that Mexico have been punished for the infamous chant, popular among El Tri fans. At the World Cup in Russia, Mexico were sanctioned when the homophobic chant was heard against Germany at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. FIFA is also investigating a recent friendly in Arlington against Iceland.

“We are awaiting information from FIFA, we know that the Iceland game has also been investigated,” said de Luisa. “What is very clear that any activity of our national team where the discriminatory act exists, will be sanctioned.”

The barrage of ‘puto’ chants didn’t stop there.  Earlier this month, the Concacaf Nations League final between Mexico and the United States had to be stopped in response to the homophobic chant being used.

As a result of FIFA’s punishment, Mexico will have to play their World Cup qualifiers against both Jamaica and Canada in the autumn behind closed doors.

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