Football: Mexican players launch campaign against homophobia

Mexico's national soccer team head coach Juan Carlos Osorio (left) talks with his player Rafael Marquez (2nd left) next to other teammates during a training session in preparation for their qualifying match against Canada.
Mexico's national soccer team head coach Juan Carlos Osorio (left) talks with his player Rafael Marquez (2nd left) next to other teammates during a training session in preparation for their qualifying match against Canada. PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's national team has launched a campaign to discourage fans from shouting homophobic slurs during football matches.

Some of the players who will face Canada in a World Cup tie on Tuesday (March 29), including Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez and PSV Eindhoven's Hector Moreno, read out a manifesto against abuse under the title "Embraced by Football."

"To us, differences are no obstacle. To us, we don't discriminate. To us, we respect everyone's opinion," the players said in a YouTube and social media campaign.

Fifa's Disciplinary Committee ruled two years ago that there would be no punishment for Mexico's FA after Mexican fans chanted the word "puto" - or "faggot" in Spanish - at opposition goalkeepers during the 2014 World Cup.

However, Fifa took a stronger stand this year and Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, were fined by the governing body for homophobic chanting by fans during World Cup qualifiers.