Updated 07:35 PM EDT, Mon, Aug 03, 2020

FIFA Fines Latin American Football Associations for Homophobic Slurs Chanted by Fans

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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, also known as FIFA, has fined the football associations of five Latin American countries for chanting homophobic slurs during the qualifying matches of the 2018 World Cup.

The Latin American nations involved are Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. According to FIFA, the football associations of these countries said the "insulting and discriminatory chants" during the event, the Guardian reported.

"FIFA has been fighting discrimination in football for many years and one part of that has been through sanctions," Claudio Sulser, chair of FIFA's disciplinary committee, as quoted by the Guardian. "But disciplinary proceedings alone cannot change behavior by certain groups of fans that unfortunately goes against the core values of our game. FIFA and the entire football community have to be proactive in educating and inspiring a message of equality and respect across all levels of the game."

Chile has the most expensive fine at 70,000 Swiss francs for cases at four different matches, the news outlet noted. FIFA also slapped fines of 20,000 Swiss francs on Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. The Honduras FA is also facing the same offense, but proceedings for the case are still ongoing.

FIFA's Anti-Discrimination and Monitoring System generated match reports and additional evidence to support the sanctions, the governing body's website stated. The Disciplinary Committee found that the associations have violated article 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, or FDC.

Federico Addiechi, FIFA's Head of Sustainability, said that plenty of measures have been implemented to address discrimination.

"Monitoring and sanctions are not the only elements of FIFA's way forward. They are part of a strategy that includes the FIFA Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, training, awareness raising and the support of member associations in developing robust educational and preventive measures," Addiechi explained, as quoted in FIFA's website.

As part of the new monitoring system, specially trained Anti-Discrimination Match Observers will be appointed to matches that have been classified as high risk, according to a separate report on FIFA's website. After each monitored game, the Match Observer will provide a report within 24 hours to FIFA's disciplinary body, which will then examine the information and decide on the potential disciplinary actions.

FIFA's new monitoring system is a collaboration with the Fare network, which has a lengthy experience in using match observers and removing discrimination in football, the news outlet noted. Aside from the reinforcement of controls and sanctions, the governing body is also using education as another strategy to combat racism and discrimination.

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