Mexico Coach Defends Use of Anti-Gay Slur by World Cup Fans


Football Against Racism Europe has contacted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) after fans allegedly chanted the abusive term “puto”, the Spanish word for a male prostitute, "fag" or "coward", and a derogatory term for gay men, during Mexico’s win over Cameroon on June 13.

Mexican soccer coach Miguel Herrera has said that the slur, chanted by fans during opposition goal kicks, is “not that bad.” Speaking to The Christian Science Monitor, Mexican soccer fan Javier Ángeles argued that “puto” is used to point out cowardice and not to imply sexual preference.

However, according to Alejandro Brito Lemus, the director of the Mexican magazine Letra S, which covers LGBTQI issues, the use of the term by fans is “completely homophobic.”

Mexico is now under an investigation by FIFA. In a statement, the international governing body for soccer said:

“We encourage individuals and groups such as FARE to submit any evidence in their possession with regard to discriminatory behavior for the analysis and consideration of the FIFA disciplinary committee.”

FIFA is also looking into allegations of homophobic slurs by Brazilian fans, as well the use of anti-Semitic banners by Croatian and Russian fans.

Although FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff have pledged to use the World Cup as a platform against racism and discrimination, it has been argued that FIFA’s actions are hypocritical as it has awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar, despite human rights abuses in those countries and Russia’s 2013 decision to pass anti-gay laws.

Watch Oliver Slam Qatar's selection as World Cup host, AFTER THE JUMP


  1. pete n sfo says

    I’m sure the Mexican coach said, “it’s not that bad” because Mexicans regularly use racist & homophobic language. It is so ubiquitous, commonplace, that most people probably don’t realize how out of step it is with other societies.

    Only recently did Spanish radio stop the use of Maricon (faggot), probably as recently as 5 years ago.

    Italy & Spain are super racist as well. Even Australians about Asian as well. But, I was at a Giants v Dodgers game & the bleachers were screaming at the outfielder, “Your mother’s a crack whore.” Sports really brings out the best in folks.

  2. Unhappy with my former school says

    I watched the interview…frankly, not surprising given Mexican culture’s stand when it comes to the LGBT community.

    It is a disgusting display of homophobia and FIFA should penalize this ignorant macho nonsense!

  3. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Whether the coach truly believes this or not, it reflects badly on the Mexicans, and they should cut it out in international play. No other country’s fans are taunting the opposing teams like this, not even with loud roars of “coward”.

  4. Jerry says


    The way I was taught, “puta” was the feminine version of the noun; for a man (e.g., as George Lopez frequently refers to Erik Estrada), the masculine of the noun, “puto,” is used.

  5. Mike85 says

    Something that’s been making me rage for the last couple of days is how the Mexican fans and now the team’s coach is trying to fool FIFA and non Spanish speakers/Latinos that “No, it’s really not what you think it means.” If someone in the street calls you a puto you know full well what that means. Puto, Maricon, Joto, Puñal are all anti-gay slurs.

  6. DC Insider says

    Given that the next World Cup is in homophobiaville, this is nothing. At the next World Cup, gay slurs will be a welcome change tot he likely alternative, which will be public hangings of gay tourists.

  7. SkateUp says

    Leave it to a heterosexual to weigh in and say anti-gay slurs are ‘not that bad’.

    I guess we should get anti-Semitic gentiles to weigh in on anti-Semitic slurs and have them say they’re not that bad.

    Then we can have misogynistic males weigh in on how sexist slurs are no big deal.

    Then we can have racists weigh in about how racist slurs are not a big deal.

    And so on and so on.

    I’ve lot a lot of the respect I was cultivating for Mexicans and Brazilians. I thought they were moving forward not backward. If they want to make homophobia central to their cultural identities, the way groups like NOM want, fine. I can get by not trusting Latinos.

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