Homophobic chants must stop but Copa chiefs take no action

Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:10pm EDT
 
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Centenary Copa America officials say homophobic chanting at international matches "must stop" but they have opted not to take action against offending teams.

"The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) take any chants or actions that are derogatory or offensive during our matches very seriously," organizers said in a joint statement on Thursday.

"This behavior does not reflect the true spirit of soccer and must be stopped."

The confederations said they launched an 'Embrace Diversity' campaign before the tournament and promised more initiatives in the future.

However, unlike soccer's ruling body FIFA, which fined Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay for homophobic chants by fans earlier this year, the confederations decided to take no action.

The shouts have been heard at many matches at the Centenary Copa America in the United States and usually come when goalkeepers run up to take goal kicks.

The practice described by FIFA as "insulting and discriminatory chants" has been particularly noticeable in games involving Mexico.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

 
Jun 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; United States fans cheer on against Paraguay during the first half of the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario. at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports