The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) could have its senior women’s national team serve part of the sentence for fan behavior in matches involving the Under-23 men’s team, according to the president of the federation, Yon de Luisa.
Anti-gay chants heard in matches against the Dominican Republic and the United States at the CONCACAF men’s pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in March reported a penalty from Mexico playing their next two official home games behind closed doors.
Initially, the senior men’s national team was expected to serve the sentence, in their first two World Cup qualifiers in September and October.
However, FIFA did not specifically indicate which of the Mexican national teams would, opening the door for the senior women’s team to serve part of the sentence.
“The sanction refers to the next two official home matches which will be played by representatives of the Mexican Football Federation regardless of their category,” said a statement sent by FIFA to ESPN Mexico.
From Luisa, addressing Mexican Newspaper Reforma, also raised this possibility during discussions on the next international friendly window, from September 13 to 21, to schedule a match for the women’s team.
“It is possible that the senior men’s team as well as the senior women’s team [can serve the ban], due to the schedule to come home. There is also a FIFA friendly for the women’s team in September, ”De Luisa told Reforma on Friday.
De Luisa said the FMF was waiting for more specific details of the sanction from FIFA, but did not deny considering using the women’s national team matches to serve the ban if allowed to do so.
“There are men’s and women’s team matches in the coming months, and we still don’t know when this two-match suspension will be applied,” De Luisa said in an interview with The Deportees.
If FIFA allowed FMF to split the suspension among their representatives, then the men’s team could only serve one game of suspension – the first World Cup qualifier on September 2 against Jamaica in the United States. ‘Estadio Azteca.
If the senior women’s team then play behind closed doors later in the month, the men would be free to play Canada on October 7 without restrictions.
If FIFA allows FMF to split the sanction between the two teams, the women’s team will now be asked to serve a sanction for anti-gay misconduct by fans in matches they did not participate in. Mexico’s senior women’s team includes players who have identified themselves as part of the LGBTQ + community.
The anti-gay chant in question has been an ongoing problem for FMF for nearly two decades. Following a first FIFA investigation during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Mexico has been fined 15 since 2015 for behavior by supporters in the stands. An update to the FIFA Disciplinary Code allowed FIFA to impose more severe penalties on repeat offenders, resulting in a possible ban from competitions, including the World Cup.
Efforts were made by the FMF to crack down on singing, including a media campaign and PSA videos in stadiums before and during national team matches. But none of the players on the women’s team were included in these efforts.
“Singing is discriminatory and takes us away from FIFA competitions,” De Luisa said in June ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League final, when he revealed the two-game ban. “To those who think it’s fun to [do it], I have news for you. It’s not.”
Nevertheless, the June 6 final in Denver between the United States and Mexico was marred by unruly fan behavior this included items thrown on the field and a brief hiatus from the game because of fans using anti-gay chant. There was no investigation or penalty for this game.