Mexico will play two home games – one against Jamaica in September, the other against Canada in October – in empty stadiums after they were sanctioned and fined by the FIFA disciplinary commission for homophobic chants, the Mexican football federation said Friday.
“We have received a sanction from FIFA for the shouts heard during the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games,” FIFA president Yon de Luisa told reporters.
The qualifiers were held in March at the Akron and Jalisco stadiums in Guadalajara in western Mexico.
An investigation was opened by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee into two separate incidents that occurred at matches against the Dominican Republic on March 18 and the United States on March 24 in Guadalajara.
The sanctions, which include a fine of around $65,000, are linked in particular to Mexico’s games against the Dominican Republic and the United States, De Luisa said.
He urged Mexican fans to cease all anti-gay slurs.
“We must stop this now,” he said. “The effect can be devastating for the Mexican football industry. Let it be the last sanction that FIFA gives us.”
Mexico has been repeatedly sanctioned over the years for a homophobic slur shouted by fans at the opposing team’s goal keeper.
FIFA has also opened an investigation into another incident that occurred at Mexico’s friendly match against Iceland on May 29 in Arlington, Texas.
De Luisa said that if the chants continued Mexico was in danger of being disqualified from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and losing its role as joint host of the 2026 World Cup.