A popular homophobic chant from some of Mexico’s supporters directed at opposing goalkeepers has created controversy during the World Cup. According to Slate, some of Mexico’s fans could be heard chanting “puto” as the German goalkeeper kicked the ball in Mexico’s opening World Cup match. Slate’s Juliana Jimenez Jaramillo wrote an article for Slate in 2014 explaining what the slur meant, and why fans should refrain from using it.
Fans yell puto, which roughly means gay prostitute, at the opposing team’s goalkeeper as a tactic to distract him from his task, a common enough practice in all sports. In this case, the chant is a very specific, homophobic double-entendre, playing on the concept of letting someone “score a goal on you.” In Spanish, to score a goal is meter un gol. That translates literally as to put a goal in, so when a goalie fails at his job, he dejó que se la metieran, or allowed someone to stick it in.
According to CBS Sports, Mexico was fined $10,400 for the chant, and has been fined a total of 12 times for $160,000 for the same chant during World Cup qualifying. Here was FIFA’s statement on the fine, per CBS Sports.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico…The decision was passed after a thorough assessment of the relevant match reports, the FMF’s precedents and the evidence provided, which included videos of the incidents as well as examples of certain sustainable actions taken by the FMF to raise awareness among its supporters. Moreover, the Disciplinary Committee gave a warning to the FMF, who may face additional sanctions in case of repeated infringements of this type.
According to Slate, the fans complied with FIFA in Mexico’s second match against South Korea, and did not do the chant. Several of Mexico’s national team players took to social media to plead with fans to end the chant.
“To all Mexican fans in the stadiums, don’t shout ‘puto’. Let’s not risk another sanction,” Javier Hernandez posted on social media, per ESPN.
Mexico’s Marco Fabian noted on social media he did not believe the chant was offensive, but asked fans to refrain from the chant to avoid FIFA sanctions.
Yes, we all know that it is not an anti-gay slur nor is it insulting. The intent is not to offend and it is meant to be teasing and part of Mexican folklore. But we also know that when we as Mexicans put our minds to something, we accomplish it. And I know that our Mexican fans in Russia will be abstaining from using this chant, correct?
According to Out Sports, Victoria beer, which is a subsidiary of Modelo, created a campaign for fans to yell “Putin” after the Russian president, rather than the chant that has been sanctioned by FIFA. The video below shows an example of the chant in question. Be advised the video contains graphic language.