Homophobic chants bring football match to a halt.
It has been a mixed year for football/ soccer and the LGBTQ+ community.
Back in June, for Pride Month, the UEFA rejected requests to illuminate Munich stadium in protest against Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ+ laws, also in June FIFA ordered Mexico to play two World Cup 2022 qualifiers without fans because Mexico supporters were persistently shouting homophobic slurs at opposing players during two Olympic qualifying games. There has also been publicized incidents of homophobia away from the pitch.
However, in contrast, Harry Kane, the England team captain, made a defiant public show of support by wearing an LGBTQ+ armband during an England game in the Euros.
Meanwhile, over in the US and in American football (different sport, same name, same topic), Carl Nassib came out, which made global news and was promptly followed by an NFL promo declaring “Football is gay… football is for everyone”.
Back to soccer and now and a match was brought to a halt this Thursday (16 September) and players made to leave the pitch for 10 minutes when “offensive and discriminatory” homophobic chants started during a Cruz Azul and Monterrey match, as part of the Concacaf Champions League 2021.
The chants were made by Cruz Azul fans and Concacaf (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) have said they will investigate and are “extremely disappointed” by the language chanted by a “large number” of Cruz Azul fans.
“We commend the referees for correctly activating the anti-discrimination protocol and the stadium security for ejecting hundreds of Cruz Azul fans when the match was paused,” read a statement from the governing body.
“The Confederation has for several months proactively communicated to fans, through its What’s Wrong Is Wrong campaign, that these types of behaviours have no place in football.
“We are all committed to eradicating the discriminatory ‘goalkeeper’ chant.”
The ‘goalkeeper chant’ is when attendees scream homophobic slurs when an opposing goalkeeper is about to take a goal kick.
The game resumed after 10 minutes and after hundreds of Cruz Azul fans were ejected from the match, as per step two of Fifa’s anti-discrimination protocol.
The end result saw Monterrey win 4-1 – and 5-1 on aggregate.
Shameful scenes at the Azteca. Players being taken off the pitch as step two of the protocol against the chant, which has been shouted repeatedly tonight, is activated. #CCL pic.twitter.com/twx0nKTfZT— Owen Diana (@forkicksblog) September 17, 2021