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Mexico will play in empty stadium to open World Cup Qualifying due to homophobia

The anti-gay chant of Mexican fans on goal kicks finally is punished by the confederation in a big way.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa celebrates with his team mates after winning in penalties during the CONCACAF Nations Leagues semifinals between Mexico and Costa Rica at Empower Field At Mile High on June 3, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

In a move where years of warnings were finally met with action, FIFA announced on Friday that no fans will be allowed to attend two matches during the Mexico Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifying campaign. This comes due to the repeated actions of their fans.

A chant shouted by Mexico fans on goal kicks, which is agreed to be rooted in homophobia, continued to be yelled during the Concacaf Nations League Finals in Denver earlier this month. At one point the semifinals were paused for five minutes, which considering the escalating penalties that were declared before the match, seemed tame considering the chant was yelled throughout the entire tournament.

The chant was also yelled during Olympic Qualifying matches in Guadalajara, as well as a friendly against Iceland played in the United States.

The penalties will be enforced during Mexico’s World Cup Qualifying matches against Jamaica on September 2nd and Canada on October 7th. Mexico will host the United States on March 24th of 2022, towards the end of the 14-match Octagonal that will determine the three or four teams that will head to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from North America and the Caribbean.