Andres Guardado hails Mexico fans for stopping use of anti-gay chant

KAZAN, Russia -- Mexico midfielder and captain Andres Guardado has praised El Tri fans in Russia for not continuing to shout a chant considered an anti-gay slur by FIFA.

Mexico supporters in Sochi at the Confederations Cup were silent as New Zealand's goalkeeper took his goal kicks in El Tri's 2-1 victory on Wednesday, following a fresh warning from FIFA after Mexico's first game of the tournament against Portugal.

"It's good that they stopped in the last game," said PSV Eindhoven's Guardado, who often captains Mexico. "FIFA has made an effort to identify people [who shout the chant] and I think they ejected a couple of countrymen for the chant."

Multiple reports surfaced indicating two Mexico fans had been thrown out of the stadium in Sochi, but FIFA couldn't confirm the incident to ESPN FC. The Mexican embassy in Russia said on Friday that it had no knowledge of it, either.

Mexico fans held up a banner outside the stadium before kickoff against New Zealand asking them to end the shout and distributed pamphlets with a similar message, while Mexican federation general secretary Guillermo Cantu made a fresh plea for fans to resist.

"It was time to take a radical measure so that they stop doing it," said Guardado. "We hope they do the same at home and that people understand that it does help us a lot if they stop shouting it."

The former Valencia player did maintain the stance from the FMF and players that the goalkeeper chant isn't offensive to them, but stressed they should stop shouting it.

"As players we invite people to stop doing it, even though we believe that it isn't offensive and there are worse words and things that are done in the stadium," he said. "But that's how FIFA understand it."

Despite previous efforts to curb the controversial chant during El Tri games, the Mexican federation has been fined multiple times by FIFA for the chant and fears that a referee could stop a game at the Confederations Cup under the new laws.