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Mexican World Cup Fans’ Use of Gay Slur Is Not Punished by FIFA

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June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Soccer governing body FIFA said it won’t punish Mexico after investigating its supporters for using a homophobic term at the World Cup.

Supporters have been regularly chanting the gay slur when the opposition goalkeeper punts the ball upfield. FIFA started an investigation last week after it received a complaint from Football Against Racism Europe, a European anti-discrimination organization, following Mexico’s tournament opener with Cameroon on June 13.

“The FIFA disciplinary committee has decided that the incident in question is not considered insulting in this specific context,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told reporters yesterday at a briefing in Rio de Janeiro. “All charges against the Mexican FA have been dismissed.”

Mexico coach Miguel Hererra had defended the use of the term, saying it’s used by fans to put pressure on opposing teams.

Brazil’s government and FIFA have been trying to use the tournament to promote equality. Brazil, which has a majority black population, has started a campaign against racism in its professional league following a number of high-profile incidents last season.

“We continue to encourage people to submit any evidence in their possession with regard to insulting or discriminatory behavior, or any improper conduct, for the analysis and consideration of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,” FIFA said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Rio de Janeiro at tpanja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net Michael Sillup, Rob Gloster