The chant has become increasingly controversial, with opinions split regarding how offensive it actually is. Fans using the chant have long defended it as not homophobic, but merely the equivalent of the English term “bitch” (which, of course, carries misogynistic connotations in turn), while organizations such as CONAPRED, a Mexican anti-discriminatory body, denounce it as unequivocally homophobic.
FMF has apparently decided that the bad press (and continual fines from FIFA) mean the chant needs to stop – debate about its interpretation aside – and they are finally taking concrete steps to try to eradicate it. FMF president Yon de Luisa noted that with FIFA set to implement a three-step anti-discrimination procedure at the start of qualifying for the 2020 World Cup, “if we don’t resolve this problem before the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2020, we’d be putting ourselves at risk of being punished by point deductions and, in the worst-case scenario, missing out on the World Cup.”
Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla concurred, saying “We’re not in an emergency situation, but if we don’t resolve it we will have problems.”
The Liga MX season is currently in week 10 of the Apertura; during weeks 11 through 14, announcements will be made to educate and warn the crowds about what will happen if the chant continues, or if any other discriminatory behavior occurs.
Then, beginning with week 15 (October 25-27), the following protocol will be implemented:
- First incident: PA announcement and removal of the chanters from the stadium
- Second incident: Game suspended for five minutes while those chanting are removed from the stadium
- Third incident: Game suspended and players leave the field while those chanting are removed from the stadium
The protocol also states that if the chanting is done by the home team’s fans, the next home game will be played behind closed doors; if done by the away team’s fans, the team will be fined.
The crackdown is not limited to Liga MX games; the FMF has announced they will follow the same protocol beginning with the October 15th CONCACAF Nations League game against Panama.