- Title: FIFA fines several soccer associations for homophobic chanting
- Date: 4th October 2016
- Summary: SANTIAGO, CHILE (OCTOBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SEBASTIAN MORENO, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL SOCCER OF CHILE (ANFP), SAYING: "We estimate that the chanting for which we are accused of as a team are isolated acts. Fortunately, there's been a tendency to decrease the extent of this kind of activity. But these songs persist among a very isolated sector of fans. They are very few in number, but this is a reality that's come to be installed by the FIFA (punishing xenophobic acts) and we have to take care of it, not hide these problems of discrimination. And beyond taking repressive steps, we have to educate our fans."
- Embargoed: 19th October 2016 21:12
- Keywords: FIFA Chile's Football Association discriminatory chants fans 2018 World Cup qualifying matches Mexico Honduras
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE/ MEXICO CITY, MEXICO/ SAN PEDRO SULA AND TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE/ MEXICO CITY, MEXICO/ SAN PEDRO SULA AND TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00552LD6PV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Chile have been handed a one-match stadium ban and fined along with five other countries after their supporters were found guilty of homophobic chanting through the public hurling of epithets, FIFA said on Tuesday (October 4).
Earlier this year, Chile were handed a two-match ban, with one suspended for the same offence.
Having already played one game away from their national stadium in Santiago, they will now have to find a new venue for their World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela next March, world soccer's governing body said.
FIFA triggered Chile's suspended sentence following their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in September.
"Since Chile had committed another infringement during the probation period imposed in May 2016, a ban on playing at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos in Santiago for a further match will be applied," FIFA said in a statement.
Chile were fined a total of 65,000 Swiss francs ($66,421) for two offences after their fans were also found guilty of "insulting chants" in September's clash against Paraguay.
Sebastian Moreno, General Secretary of the National Association of Professional Soccer of Chile (ANFP), said not being able to play at home would affect them.
"We are facing a range of quite different possibilities, where clearly the worst punishment is not being able to play in the presence of the local fans or worse still, having to play abroad," Moreno said.
Chile are seventh in the South American World Cup qualifying group with 11 points from eight games, two points outside the top four spots which guarantee a place at the finals in Russia.
"This is a decision that clearly damages our intentions since the home of the (National) team is our National Stadium, but it also gives us a good opportunity to continue working on awareness with our audience, our fans concerning not chanting songs that can be interpreted by the disciplinary committee of FIFA as discriminatory, xenophobic," Moreno added.
For his part, Moreno said the incidents were the exception.
"We estimate that the chanting for which we are accused of as a team are isolated acts. Fortunately there's been a tendency to decrease the extent of this kind of activity. But these songs persist among a very isolated sector of fans. They are very few in number, but this is a reality that's come to be installed by the FIFA (punishing xenophobic acts) and we have to take care of it, not hide these problems of discrimination. And beyond taking repressive steps, we have to educate our fans," Moreno added.
Mexico were also fined for homophobic chanting by supporters (30,000 Swiss francs).
Mexico fans have long shouted an insult at keepers taking goalkicks, which some gay rights groups argue is homophobic.
In the past FARE, an anti-discrimination campaign group, has said it had contacted FIFA about four incidents of racist or homophobic behaviour at World Cup qualifying games.
Midfielder, Jonathan Do Santos, told a news conference on Tuesday they would need to create more awareness to prevent such chants.
"The truth is I had no idea but obviously something will have to be done about it. The truth is, it's a chant which has always been around, without wanting to offend anyone but something will have to be done," Do Santos said.
Midfielder, Marco Fabian, said he had faith in Mexico fans.
"I think we are prepared to play anywhere. It's not something we will decide but we'll have to do our best at whichever stadium we need to play in and we will surely have the support from the fans," Fabian added.
FIFA also handed out fines for homophobic chanting by supporters to Honduras (65,000 Swiss francs).
The secretary of the National Autonomous Federation of Soccer of Honduras known as FENAFUTH, Jose Ernesto Mejia, criticised FIFA's sanctions.
"Also regarding the disturbances due to yelling in the stands, this is the second occasion, in spite of, I have to say, that the Honduran federation has made efforts to avoid these type of situations, which could be observed. We sent nearly 17 exculpatory pieces of proof to FIFA with everything the federation has done and even so, FIFA has been quite tough with our federation, which itself is emerging from a pretty serious problem that has been investigated, with financial problems, so we feel the sanctions are completely out of proportion," Mejia said.
Mejia added they would let fans know these fines damage Honduran soccer.
"Obviously, we'll continue to work on this topic, creating awareness and letting people know that these economic sanctions not only harm the federation but also Honduran soccer in general because of the money we invest in the minor leagues, in soccer in general, and it's really an economic damage we will strongly feel," Mejia said.
El Salvador (45,000) Peru (30,000) and Brazil (20,000) were also fined for similar chanting.
Italy, Argentina, Canada, Paraguay and Albania were fined between 20,000 and 50,000 Swiss francs for "incidents involving discriminatory and unsporting conduct by fans".
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