In a fantastic turn of events, Decio de María, President of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, has decided to jump on board the ban “eeh puto” bandwagon rather than attempt to appeal FIFA’s fine for anti-gay chants, which would have been way too small to actually effect change anyway.
“At the end of the day, it’s a chant that insults someone and I think that as a society we should not do that.” Yes. Praise the futbol gods. “Trying to fight it with sanctions will be harmful,” de María said, according to Mediotiempo. “I think that it’s something we should build together, because football should unite and embrace, not be used as a divisive instrument. It’s clear that there are groups who feel badly upon hearing it.”
“We should be the ones to settle this issue so that we do not experience recurring instances and can thus eliminate [the chant] entirely,” he added. “There are those who think that it’s a joyful cheer, but there are also those who think that it’s offensive. We should know how to solve this ourselves.”
We’ll see it when we believe it, but this is a hugely positive development. The fact that de María has acknowledged the chant’s insulting undertones is noteworthy in and of itself, because as we have mentioned previously, disregarding any and all long-established cultural significance (the chant is a relatively new phenomenon), there’s no denying that its commonplace use is fucked up. It’s homophobic, it’s vulgar, and it’s gotta go.
Might this be the start of a meaningful campaign against homophobia in all of its awful forms on the part of the federation? If it is, what is step number one on the path towards eradicating the “eeh puto” chant for good? This certainly isn’t the type of thing that de María can announce and expect to crystallize with the blink of an eye. So what will happen the next time we hear “eeh puto” raucously ringing out during a goal kick? Perhaps, as Fusion’s Elliot Turner suggests, the federation will fight to ban all fans from attending El Tri’s next big match, inciting incentives for fan self-policing and incurring millions of dollars of lost revenue in the process.
This is a pivotal point in the history of the Selección, if it genuinely wants to represent its country as “el equipo de todos.”