Mexico will be forced to play their next two home World Cup soccer qualifiers behind closed doors because of homophonic chants from fans, FIFA said on Monday, Nov. 1.
The world football’s governing body also fined the Mexican football federation 100,000 Swiss francs ($110,000) for several incidents during World Cup qualifiers against Canada and Honduras in September.
The ruling means Mexico will host Costa Rica on Jan, 30 and Panama on Feb. 2 at empty stadiums as they bid for a place in football’s showpiece event in Qatar next year.
The issue of anti-gay chants from fans has plagued the Mexican team for years, despite promises of reform from the Mexican Football Federation.
In the past, FIFA limited its response almost entirely to fines, but it has since started cracking down more.
“In line with FIFA’s zero-tolerance stance against discrimination and violence in football, a number of member associations have been punished due to discriminatory behavior by their respective supporters,” read a statement on FIFA’s official website.
FIFA also banned supporters from attending Albania’s last home qualifier against Andorra on Nov. 12 after plastic bottles were thrown at Poland’s players while celebrating a goal last month.
Meanwhile, Poland fans have been barred from their team’s last qualifier in Andorra on Nov. 12 because of unruly behavior during the clash in the Albanian capital Tirana.
In addition, FIFA fined Hungary 75,000 Swiss francs and prohibited fans from the qualifier against Poland on Nov. 15 for setting off fireworks and dangerous conduct in the match against England in London.