Hector Herrera concerned over Mexico fans' chant during goal kicks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Porto and Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera is concerned about the chant El Tri fans direct at opposition goalkeepers during goal kicks, but said Thursday he isn't bothered by it.

"I think it is a tradition that has gone on for years. I don't think you can come in and take it away from one day to the next," Herrera said during Thursday's news conference in downtown San Jose. "It's difficult to get so many people to change it. If FIFA comes to the decision to veto [Estadio Azteca], they'll have their reasons and if we don't change it, [a veto] will happen."

"Personally, it is not something that bothers me, but we know there are things you can't control and you have to adapt," he added, ahead of El Tri's Copa America Centenario quarterfinal against Chile on Saturday.

Last month, the Mexican Football Federation's appeal against a fine and warning received by FIFA for what the organization deemed "homophobic chants from supporters" during World Cup qualifying was rejected and there is fear that official Mexico games could be played behind closed doors if it continues.

During the ongoing Copa America Centenario, Mexico fans have been using the chant throughout the games the team has played over the past few weeks.

The Mexican federation launched a campaign entitled "Embraced by Soccer" in March asking fans not to engage in discriminatory behavior, but didn't directly mention the chant. That was addressed earlier this month with the "Ya Parale" ("Stop It") campaign led by a video featuring Mexico goalkeepers Jesus Corona, Guillermo Ochoa and Alfredo Talavera.

U.S.-based El Tri supporters group Pancho Villa's Army has also pleaded with fans to end the chant.

"The Mexican team is being fined and potential future penalties, including official stadium bans and point reduction, are possible if the grito continues. If you truly support Mexico and want the team to succeed then we have to stop," said group founder Sergio Tristan on its website.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL launched an "Embrace Diversity" campaign ahead of the Copa America Centenario and released a statement on Thursday to reiterate the joint message.

"[CONCACAF and CONMEBOL] take any chants or actions that are derogatory or offensive during our matches very seriously," Thursday's statement said. "This behavior does not reflect the true spirit of football and must be stopped."