Mexico hoping to bring positive change to stop goalkeeper chant
SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico -- The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) is hoping to turn fans' controversial goalkeeper chant into a positive on Friday by encouraging supporters at the World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago to shout "Fuerza Mexico" at each goal kick.
The loose translation is "stay strong, Mexico" and the phrase trended on social networks in the wake of the magnitude 7.1 Sept. 19 earthquake in central Mexico, which cost the lives of more than 300 people.
"May the union of the country remain and shout as one voice: Fuerza Mexico," read the message from the FMF.
Fans outside the team hotel in San Luis Potosi on Thursday evening seemed keen to get involved, but whether it will have any impact inside Estadio Alfonso Lastras remains to be seen.
The FMF has been fined and warned on multiple occasions since the last World Cup about the chant, but it has been unable to stamp out a shout that FIFA has ruled homophobic.
The FMF will also sell green scarves with "Fuerza Mexico" on them for $2.70 (U.S.) outside Estadio Alfonso Lastras, with all proceeds going towards the earthquake relief fund. Fans inside the 25,000-capacity stadium are encouraged to lift the scarves up during the playing of the Mexican national anthem.
On Tuesday, around 200 fans paid $162 to attend a national team training session in Mexico City, with those who bought the tickets able to mingle and take photographs with the players.
National team stars like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Miguel Layun have also contributed to efforts to raise money for those affected.
El Tri is already qualified for the World Cup and is looking to secure first place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal with victories against Trinidad-Tobago and then Honduras in Central America on Tuesday.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.