If you’ve ever watched a fútbol match featuring Mexico’s national team or a club team from Mexico, you’re probably familiar with this chant:
Credit: Libey JhDyz / YouTube
Yep, the popular “Ehhhhhhhh… p**o” chant used to taunt goalkeepers. It’s been around for a little more than a decade.
Credit: Tómas Salinas / YouTube
According to Mediotiempo.com, the chant began gaining traction in the early 2000s, when fans of Guadalajara’s Atlas FC turned a harmless “Ehhhh… PUM” chant into the one you hear today. Eventually, the chant spread and became ubiquitous at games featuring Mexico’s national team.
Mexico fans gleefully used the chant at the 2014 World Cup and EVERYONE noticed. Here’s a clip from Mexico vs. Brazil:
Credit: Luis Corvini / YouTube
The whole world was watching, and the chant was audible during broadcasts of the matches. Soon, fans from other countries began asking themselves, “What’s with the ‘p**o’ chant?”
After hearing the chant from Mexico fans, Brazil’s fans began using the chant to taunt Mexico’s goalkeeper.
Credit: Mark Harpin / YouTube
And thanks to the World Cup, the chant even made its way to Japan.
During the tournament, many people criticized Mexico fans for using a “homophobic chant.”
Credit: Miguel Tovar / Getty
Many pointed out that the word p**o, slang for “male prostitute,” is rooted in homophobia. In many countries, it’s used the same way as f****t. Mike Woitalla of Soccer America magazine told NPR: “The Mexican team is playing wonderful soccer, and their fans are traditionally wonderful fans, and right now, with this chant, they are bringing shame upon themselves.” Mexicans argued that in the context of the chant, the word p**o was just an insult – like the word “f****r” – and not meant to be homophobic. FIFA, which investigated Mexico’s use of the chant, eventually agreed. FIFA officials declared that the chant “was not considered insulting in the specific context.”
This year, Mexico got a rude awakening – the Mexican soccer federation was fined $20,000 by FIFA after fans used the chant during a Mexico vs. El Salvador World Cup qualifying match.
Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty
After being cleared in 2014, Mexico fans assumed the debate was over. But Mexico, along with Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, were fined earlier this year for using “insulting and discriminatory chants.”
Although federation officials said they would appeal the fine, Mexico’s federation president, Decio de Maria, recently told reporters that Mexico should work to eliminate the chant from games.
Credit: Manuel Velasquez / Getty
In a press conference, de Maria said that it didn’t matter whether the chant is homophobic or not: “At the end of the day, it’s a chant that insults someone. I think as a society, we shouldn’t do that.”
Where do you stand on the chants? Click on the share button below to discuss with your friends!