The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) an international governing body of soccer, is investigating alleged homophobic slurs chanted by fans of the Mexican soccer team during its 1-0 World Cup win over defending champions Germany on Sunday.
The chants were reportedly aimed at Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, first appearing in the 25th minute when Neuer lined up a kick.
The alleged homophobic slurs were not the first time the Mexican team has been associated with such behavior; the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) was fined nine times for its supporters chanting homophobic slurs during the qualifying campaign.
Javier Ruiz Galindo, head of the National House of Mexico for fans in Moscow, said the chant could be interpreted in "many ways,” adding to the BBC, "It's not necessarily meant to insult somebody. We have been asked many times not to do it so we should be respectful.”
Supporters of Mexican soccer teams have long targeted opposing goalkeepers taking goal-kicks with a song using the word “puto,” which is homophobic slang for a male prostitute.
According to The Guardian, Fans of Mexico have used the slur in stadiums from Mexico City to California. The Guardian adds, “Homophobia and homophobic chants are not exclusive to Mexico fans. Fifa issued 51 disciplinary actions over homophobia during 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Of these, 11 were handed to the Mexican federation, with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Peru also receiving multiple fines. Fifa additionally cited Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Greece, Hungary and Serbia once each for homophobic chants.”