Mexican fans have been under high scrutiny lately courtesy of the infamous “puto” chant, and the heat doesn’t seem to be slowing down. After FIFA, the FMF, and CONCACAF all took a shot at cooling offensive language, Liga MX will take their turn, specifically with regards to racist chants.
Mexico’s first division is taking aim at derogatory crowd chants with an amendment to article 54 of their Competition Rules; the change will broaden the language to include racist incidents and behavior as well as offensive and homophobic incidents. On Wednesday, Liga MX issued a statement, clarifying that suspending a game for discriminatory fan behavior has been possible since 2014. This summer, however, they broadened the writing from just a few sentences to several paragraphs to properly and clearly define what is against their policy.
This falls in line with the recent steps taken by FIFA during the Confederations Cup to try to combat the “puto” chant. It seems that organizations are catching on to the fact that the only method of affecting the behavior is by threatening to suspend games; fines aren’t working.
Previously, Liga MX’s rules stated that games “may only be suspended for reasons of force majeure or state of emergency, lack of electrical energy, overcrowding, invasion or aggression of the public, lack of appearance of any of the contestants, or withdrawal from the club court or improper and discriminatory behavior of the attendants to the stadium.”
Now, however, referees are being gived the power to first pause games and then call them off if fan behavior crosses the line from boisterous to offensive. Given the success of this same measure at the Confederations Cup–the only notable instance of the “puto” chant ended with two fans being ejected from the stadium–it’ll be an interesting follow-up to see if it works on home soil.