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ESPN FC  By ESPN

FIFA fines Mexico for 'homophobic chants' from fans

FIFA has sanctioned Mexico for offensive chants from fans in the stands during matches.

The Mexican Football Federation has lost its appeal before FIFA of the fine and warning it received for what the organisation deemed "homophobic chants from supporters."

FIFA also fined Croatia and ordered them to play two World Cup qualifying matches in empty stadiums for repeated cases of fans chanting fascist slogans.

In January, Mexico appealed the sanction for fans' actions during El Tri's 3-0 victory over El Salvador in World Cup qualifying in Estadio Azteca on Nov. 13 last year. Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay also received fines at the time and lost their appeals on Friday.

"Following match reports and additional evidence generated by the Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System, FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the associations of Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Croatia," the statement said. 

Mexico have been fined 35,000 Swiss francs ($35,275) for the chant -- aimed at the opposing team's goalkeeper when taking a goal kick. It has been used in Liga MX and Mexico national team matches for years, but other Spanish-speaking Latin America nations have also picked it up.

The issue first came to the world's attention during the 2014 World Cup, when FIFA investigated the same chant from Mexico fans, but the organisation ruled that it "is not considered insulting in this specific context."

FIFA also fined Croatia and ordered them to play two World Cup qualifying matches in empty stadiums for repeated cases of fans chanting fascist slogans.

FIFA fined the Croatian federation 150,000 Swiss francs ($151,000), and ordered the stadium bans to take effect when Croatia host Turkey on Sept. 5 and Finland on Oct. 9.

Chile were also ordered to play one World Cup qualifier away from their national stadium over fans chanting anti-gay insults, FIFA said in the disciplinary rulings announced on Friday. In addition to Mexico, a total of five Latin American federations were fined for "discriminatory and unsporting conduct by fans," including anti-gay insults, at World Cup qualifiers.

Croatia fans were guilty of discriminatory chants at friendlies against Israel and Hungary in March, FIFA said.

Croatia "had already been sanctioned for similar incidents by FIFA and UEFA" in previous seasons, the world football body said.

Before the 2014 World Cup, FIFA banned Croatia defender Josip Simunic for 10 matches for leading fans in a World War II-era chant used by the country's then-puppet regime.

After incidents of anti-gay chants at the last World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has cracked down on insults aimed by Latin American fans at players on rival teams.

Chile cannot use their national stadium when they host Bolivia on Sept. 6 and must pay a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs ($30,250). A second stadium-ban sanction was deferred for a two-year probationary period.

In other sanctions for football federations, FIFA fined Honduras 40,000 Swiss francs ($40,300), El Salvador 35,000 Swiss francs ($35,275) each, Paraguay 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150), and Peru 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,115).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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