“U.S. Soccer Federation Enforces Anti-Gay Chanting Policy During U.S. vs. Mexico Match”

According to a statement by the U.S. Soccer Federation, they will enforce their newly implemented policy against anti-gay chanting during the match between the United States and Mexico on Wednesday, even though the game is a non-FIFA date friendly. The policy was approved by the USSF board in May 2022 and ratified at the 2023 Annual General Meeting. The Federation intends to enforce the policy in conjunction with the Mexico Football Federation (FMF) and Soccer United Marketing, which promotes most Mexico matches in the U.S. The Federation is taking the issue of discriminatory behavior seriously and strictly prohibits any derogatory chant. They plan to communicate the Fan Code of Conduct to attendees before the event and will continue that communication in-venue. The FIFA three-step process will be implemented, and violations will be addressed. The three-step process details that fans will hear a warning to cease the discriminatory chant as a first step, in conjunction with play being suspended for two minutes. If chanting continues, players will be sent to their respective locker rooms for 10 minutes accompanied by another warning. Finally, as a third step, the match will be abandoned if chanting does not cease. While the three-step protocol does not address individual fan behavior, stadium management has removed those who have been caught participating in the chant in previous matches. The anti-gay slur in Spanish that Mexico fans yell when there is an opposition goal kick has been heard at numerous matches Mexico has organized and played in the United States over the past several years. In January of this year, FIFA fined Mexico’s football federation $108,000 for chanting heard at the 2022 World Cup during El Tri’s games against Saudi Arabia and Poland. Previously, FIFA had forced Mexico to play a World Cup qualifier in September 2021 against Jamaica without fans.

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