One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long
U.S.-based Mexico fan group Pancho Villas’ Army has inserted a “no goalkeeper chant” clause into the group’s membership and made abstaining from shouting the anti-gay chant a condition for buying tickets for games in their section, in a bid to help put an end to the chant often heard in stadiums when the Mexico national team plays.
This could be progress towards finally ending the homophobic chant heard all too often at Mexican football games.
The group, Pancho Villa’s Army, made the announcement banning its members from yelling the chant.
In an open letter to its members, the group says: “One area where I think we can improve upon is the infamous PU%* Chant. For me and many others, it is no longer relevant to debate what the word means or doesn’t mean. Its simply a matter of respect and common courtesy. We should do our best to be good guests at all the stadiums that welcome us.”
The group notes that fans already follow several other rules. So what’s another rule if its meant to make sure everyone feels more comfortable.
The group has even added the rule into its code of conduct. In their letter they add: “Moving forward, we will adopt a “No Pu%^ Chant” clause into our membership rules and code of conduct. While our code generally covers the chant we will specifically list it as unacceptable conduct. The same clause will be inserted into our ticket purchases pages. We already informed all PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a standing, cheering, and singing section. The same page will now inform potential PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a NO PU&% CHANT section too.”
All of this comes as the Mexican team and Mexican fans come under increased scrutiny for the homophobic slur.
A section of El Tri fans regularly shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal-kick and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it, although it was stamped out at Russia 2018 after an educational campaign from the federation, fan groups and players, as well as the threat of Fan IDs being taken away.
But the chant was heard regularly during Mexico games in the United States this summer at the Gold Cup.
Fans that have bought tickets for Mexico’s game on Sept. 10 against Argentina in San Antonio, Texas and don’t want to adhere to the policy will receive a refund for their tickets.
The group says the decision is about being inclusive of all fans, including those from the LGBTQ community.
“It’s about people joining who wish to create an environment that feels welcoming to our LGBTQ Mexico fans,” reads the statement. “As an organization that has LGBTQ leaders and members we take this charge very seriously.”
The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with soccer fans from around the world celebrating the announcement.
Most on Twitter were thrilled that at least one group was taking the steps necessary to address the issue. They’re going directly to their members and making it a condition of membership to stop using the chant.
FIFA has warned soccer federations all over the world, including Mexico, that discriminatory chanting will activate the “three-step procedure” that could lead to the abandoning of World Cup qualifying matches if the chant is heard. The referee would first stop the match, then suspend it and eventually abandon it if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t cease. Yet at nearly every game of El Tri you’ll still hear the chant.
Many pointed out that PVA will be on the right side of history with this new rule.
Despite there being an ongoing debate among fans if the chant is meant to be homophobic or not, people are realizing that all fans should be comfortable – and, yes, that includes those from the LGBTQ community.
And as one of the first fan clubs to issue an official rule, Pancho Villa’s Army will have been seen as a leader on this issue. So bravo PVA! And thank you.