Connect with us

Middle East

FIFA bans Mexican soccer fans over ‘homophobic’ chant, still hosting World Cup in Qatar–where homosexuality is illegal

In 2013, Qatar agreed to introduce “tests” in hopes of keeping LGBT individuals from entering the country.



Players from the Mexican national soccer team // The New York Times

Internet users are calling out gross duplicity after FIFA, the international governing body of association football, made a decision to ban Mexico’s fans from attending games due to “homophobic” chants, yet FIFA is holding the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar, a country that criminalizes homosexuality.

According to the Post Millennial, Mexican soccer fans have been using the now infamous “puto” chant for quite a while. During two games, fans broke out into the cry forcing officials to pause the game and issue warnings.

Warnings against use of the chant were ineffective, it appears, and now FIFA ruled that the last two World Cup qualifying games in Mexico are to be played in empty stadiums. According to Insider, “the fan ban is the strongest sanction ever taken against the Mexican national team, and there might be more on the way.”

“Puto” is the masculine form of the Spanish word “puta,” meaning “prostitute,” and often used as a slur against homosexuals or any man perceived as weak. It is a swear word in nearly all Spanish-speaking countries, with varying meanings. The word only took on a homophobic connotation recently.

Qatar has been slated to host the 2022 World Cup tournament since at least 2013, and the decision has been met with heavy criticism due to the Arab nation’s current laws regarding homosexuality.

Qatar is one of 69 countries in the world where homosexuality is still illegal. Qatar operates under Sharia law which technically mandates that it is possible for men who engage in homosexual acts to be put to death. Human Dignity Trust reports that two sections of Qatar’s penal code dictate that both men and women can be jailed for homosexual activity.

“Article 285 criminalizes sexual intercourse ‘without compulsion, duress or ruse’ with a male with a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment. The provision is gender-neutral as to the other party so is applicable to same-sex intimacy intimacy between men” the organization claims.

The group further cites another code that seems to be purposefully ambiguous: “Article 296 criminalizes ‘leading, instigating or seducing a male in any way to commit sodomy’ and ‘inducing or seducing a male or female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions’ with a penalty of between one and three years imprisonment. The term ‘immoral actions’ is undefined.”

Back in 2013 when Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup tournament, FIFA delegate Piara Powar responded to the criticism with words of hope that the country might change its laws regarding homosexuality before the tournament took place.

“Qatar wants to host the tournament at the start of a new decade, they will want to present an internationally welcoming face and with FIFA’s help we are sure it will be possible to win over Qatar so that they come into line with the rest of the world, including other countries in the Gulf and Middle East and change the law on homosexuality,” Powar said at the time.

However, during the United Nation’s Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of 2014, “Qatar did not receive any recommendations relating to decriminalizing consensual same-sex relations or to protect LGBT individuals,” according to Human Dignity Trust. Furthermore, in 2010 when the country did receive a recommendation to decriminalize homosexuality, Qatar rejected it.

Also in 2013, Qatar agreed to introduce “tests” in hopes of keeping LGBT individuals from entering the country. Director of the Public Health Department of Kuwait, Dr. Yousuf Mendakar, spoke about the proposed “tests” claiming, “Homosexuals and ‘third-sex’ individuals can be detected through clinical tests during the routine medical examination for visa… Expatriates undergo medical tests at local clinics, but the new procedure includes stricter measures to find out homosexuals and transgenders so that they are banned from entering Kuwait or any [Gulf Cooperation Council] state.”

Qatar also has a history of censoring LGBT news. In 2018, ABC News reported that the country edited out stories on LGBT rights in the international edition of the New York Times. “In several pictures shared with ABC News, entire articles published from April to July were excised from the Doha edition of the New York Times International Edition, leaving in their places large swaths of empty newspaper and a small note explaining that the offending pieces had been ‘exceptionally removed,’” the outlet stated.