Guillermo Cantú, General Secretary of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, has assured fans of plans to appeal FIFA’s fine for anti-gay chants. Seriously? Of all things to fight against?
“We have some basis for requesting an appeal,” Cantú said, according to Mediotiempo. “I believe that a dialogue and an understanding between parties is important, especially in order for us to be able to provide a cultural explanation as to the multiple meanings of certain words within our culture.”
He added that the argument the FMF plans to present with respect to the “eeh puto” chant is that “it’s not discriminatory in a homophobic sense. One must understand some mexicanismos that have been created over time, and fútbol is no exception (to their use).”
The plan to appeal – which involves the creation of a document explaining the context of the chant in Mexico – does not mean that the federation is against reducing discrimination in world fútbol. At least that’s what Cantú claims, who stated, “We are in favor of reducing this type of discrimination, which we are all subject to – people all over the world. Today more than ever due to media and faster diffusion of news.” He finished by stating that the issue of education with respect to topics like this is “crucial,” one that lies not only with the FMF; “It’s an issue that concerns all of us as Mexicans.”
Here’s the thing – disregarding any long-established cultural significance behind the chant (check this video for a brief history) – there’s no denying that its commonplace use is pretty fucked up. Vehement support for its continued usage is pretty hard to wrap my head around too. Cantú seems to allude to it in his quotes regarding education; aside from being homophobic at its core, it’s definitely vulgar AF.
There’s also no denying Mexican fútbol’s massive impact on society as a whole. So instead of fighting small fines (which the federation can and should pay like pocket change, given the fact that it reels in hundreds of millions of dollars on the reg) why not invest in meaningful campaigns against racism and homophobia in all of their awful forms? This is a huge opportunity that the FMF is totally bottling in an effort to maintain the homophobic status quo.
In my opinion, it’s really gotta go. I’m still a firm believer that fines of this nature are long overdue.