A new campaign supported by Mexican footballers aims to eradicate homophobic chants from the game, something which has emerged as a particular problem in the North American nation.
‘Abrazados por el Fútbol’, translated as ‘Embraced by Football’, is described as a collective effort from the whole family of Mexican soccer to foster respect toward others and the rejection of physical and verbal violence.
The clip features forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, captain and defender Rafael Marquez and midfielder Andres Guardado.
The official website for the campaign says, “The united will of fans, players, technical bodies, managers, sponsors and associations we want to become a single voice that talk of respect and inclusion and do not judge, preach or censored.”
The video declares that the players want, “a more peaceful environment, more familiar and more secure for all and all who love this sport – because we all have a place in the court!”
Fans in Mexico are infamous for yelling gay slurs at opposing teams, something which prompted a FIFA disciplinary probe during the 2014 World Cup, and resulted in fines.
Guillermo Cantu, the federation’s secretary-general said: “For us, as a federation, this is a chant that we do not like. We have recognized that some people have interpreted it as a homophobic exclamation.”
Now it seems Mexico want to clean up their image, saying the new video aims to discourage “a practice that is contrary to respect and the dignity of people.” It was even played last night during a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Canada in Mexico City.