HRC Blog

Civil Rights Groups Call On FIFA to Uphold Its Own Anti-Discrimination Policy

soccer ballPost submitted by Hannah Monson, HRC Global Engagement Intern 

The Human Rights Campaign joined GLAAD and 27 other organizations to criticize FIFA’s failure in properly addressing the use of homophobic slurs by fans at World Cup games in Brazil. FIFA recently determined that it was acceptable for Mexico’s fans to shout ‘puto,’ an anti-gay denigration. CONAPRED, a group responsible for settling complaints of alleged discrimination in Mexico, categorized the chanting as an offensive slur. FIFA disagreed: “The disciplinary committee has decided that the incident in question is not considered insulting in this specific context.”

An open letter, signed by almost thirty LGBT and women’s rights organizations, noted a disturbing increase in the offensive chant following FIFA’s decision: “During the 23 June telecast of the World Cup, fans of team Mexico chanted ‘puto’ more times than ever, along with other anti-gay slurs like ‘culero.’ FIFA seems only to have popularized words that, in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, mean 'faggot.'"

According to FIFA’s statutes, “discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of…sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

HRC President Chad Griffin penned an op-ed on the World Cup in The Washington Post. Read it here

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