FIFA Levels Homophobia Fines

After brushing off fans’ chants at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has levied fines against a number of countries for homophobia at several 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

Countries specifically fined or for homophobia or that have cases pending are Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. FIFA’s specific charge is listed as “Homophobic chants by supporters” putting federations in violation of Article 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, covering liability for spectator conduct.

Here’s how the individual charges break down. Swiss Francs are on par with US Dollars.

  • Argentina: CHF 20,000 fine and warning for chants at a home qualifier vs. Brazil in November
  • Chile: CHF 20,000 fine and reprimand for chants at a home qualifier vs. Brazil in October
  • Chile: CHF 15,000 fine, reprimand, and warning for chants at an away qualifier in Peru in October
  • Chile: CHF 20,000 fine and warning for chants at a home qualifier vs. Colombia in November
  • Chile: CHF 15,000 fine and warning for chants at an away qualifier in Uruguay in November
  • Honduras: Case pending for chants at a home qualifier vs. Mexico in November
  • Mexico: CHF 20,000 fine and warning for chants at a home qualifier vs. El Salvador in November
  • Peru: CHF 20,000 fine, reprimand, and warning for chants at a home qualifier vs. Chile in October
  • Uruguay: CHF 20,000 fine and warning for chants at a home qualifier vs. Chile in November

All told, that’s a total of CHF 150,000 in fines handed down with nearly half of the fines being assigned to Chile. All of the nations fined are in CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.

FIFA credits a new monitoring system for discriminatory behavior in place for 2018 World Cup Qualifiers for the response to the homophobic chanting. All member associations received a guide on diversity and anti-discrimination in October which aims to raise awareness and prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.

From the FIFA release on the sanctions:

“FIFA has been fighting discrimination in football for many years and one part of that has been through sanctions,” says Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. “With the new comprehensive monitoring system for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Disciplinary Committee has additional support thanks to the detailed reports provided by anti-discrimination match observers. But disciplinary proceedings alone cannot change behaviour 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.”

Let’s all hope that this is the start of FIFA turning the page on homophobic language in soccer and that awareness campaigns paired with genuine consequences for fan behavior help to create real, lasting change in the game we love.

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