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US Soccer fumbled its promise to ban homophobic chants

A football match was nearly suspended after Mexico fans were warned to stop chanting a homophobic slur en masse. Although fans ignored the warning, the match continued.

On June 30, over 60,000 soccer fans spent the tail end of Pride month watching Mexico take on Ecuador at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. During the match, Mexico fans repeatedly shouted the banned anti-gay slur “puto” at the opposing team, according to OutSports.

Over the course of the game, three separate stadium announcements were displayed on the big screen. “The referee has indicated that the match could be suspended due to discriminatory behavior among spectators,” the announcement read. “Discrimination in football stadiums is not tolerated. If this continues, the match will be suspended, and eventually canceled.”

Despite these announcements, the chanted slurs continued throughout the game with US Soccer officials failing to intervene. The match ended 0-0, putting Mexico out of the running for the 2026 FIFA World Cup which they are jointly hosting.

A similar incident occurred earlier that month in a match against Uruguay in Denver. The match was temporarily suspended and then allowed to continue, until Mexico fans stormed the field. These are far from the only incidents on US soil.

Attending this last match was recent presidential candidate for Mexico, Jorge Maynez, who also denounced the chanting. In a video posted to X/Twitter, he said, “The same joy you feel when you are with thousands of Mexicans watching your team turns into shame when you hear this discriminatory cry in Pride month.”

Maynez continued, “Let this be the last time that something against rights and freedoms is shouted in a national team match… never again that shout.

“It is a pride to have this flag, it is a pride to have this shield; but please, let this be the last time that something in favor of discrimination is heard.”

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