The soccer coach of the Mexican World Cup team has defended Mexican fans using gay chants at matches, saying he doesn’t think they are a serious issue.
Miguel Herrera has said he doesn’t think the chants are at all bad, and they are just part of the fans’ participation.
Commentators have criticised the anti-gay slurs which are being chanted by Mexican fans at soccer matches. Chants of ‘Puto!’ have been broadcast during matches much to the anger of soccer fans and rights groups.
‘About the chants, we don’t have anything to say, we are going to concentrate in working hard, that is what corresponds to us,’ said Herrera.
‘We support our fan base. They just do it to put pressure on the other goalkeeper.’
‘That chant was invented in the Mexican league by one team and all the Mexican fan base has adopted it, therefore I don’t think it is something that serious.’
‘I think for us there is more important stuff to solve than a chant that is just an expression to put pressure on the other goalkeeper that has been taking place in Mexico since a long time ago.’
The chants reportedly started being used during the 2004 Olympics, when Mexico was playing against the US. The chant is used to insinuate someone is weak or unmanly, and is also a homophobic insult.
Mexico has played two matches so far in the World Cup. On 13 June they played against Cameroon and on 17 June they played against Brazil.
The current situation, with homophobic and racists slurs, is under investigation by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).
FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff have vowed to use the World Cup as a platform to fight racism and discrimination.
Mexico’s next soccer match will be on 23 June against Croatia.