Mexican, Brazilian Teams May Face Penalties for Slur-Slinging Fans

Two teams competing in the World Cup are under investigation after their fans used slurs against opponents.

BY Annie Hollenbeck

June 19 2014 2:08 PM ET

Despite efforts made by FIFA and organizations such as GLAAD to discourage the use of antigay slurs during World Cup play, Mexico and host country Brazil could be facing disciplinary action for the behavior of their fans. The Football Against Racism in Europe group has reported that Brazilian fans shouted “puto” — a Spanish and Portuguese gay slur meaning male prostitute — at Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Meanwhile, Mexican fans allegedly used the same slur when their team faced off against Cameroon. Also, Russia and Croatia may see disciplinary action for racist and anti-Semitic messages on banners displayed by fans.

“The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable," Piara Powar, a member of FIFA’s antiracism task force and executive director of FARE, told London's Telegraph. "There is some rapid education required before it begins to run out of control."

FIFA has confirmed that both countries are undergoing a disciplinary investigation. Both incidents will likely result in first-offense warnings, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the behavior continues, however, the teams could see point deductions. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been a strong proponent of point deductions in the past, saying, “Sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment.”

Tags: FIFA, Sports

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