Five-year bans for anti-gay chants in Mexico

Soccer fans in Mexico will be given five-year bans from stadiums if they are found to have made an anti-gay chant, Mexican Football Federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa said on Monday.

The FMF has struggled to curtail an anti-gay chant that is often shouted by Mexico supporters when an opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick. FIFA has, in recent years, handed the FMF fines and stadium bans that have forced matches behind closed doors due to the fan behavior.

Now, going forward, those who chant will be given a five-year ban. The decision is part of a new process that de Luisa unveiled on Monday.

Through online ticket registration, a push for more positive fan experiences, heightened stadium security and the five-year ban, the FMF will once again seek to stamp out discriminatory behavior.

"These measures are based on four pillars and will be applied rigorously in all home games organized by the Mexican Football Federation," de Luisa said.

The new measures will be tested in Mexico's next two World Cup qualifiers, at home against Costa Rica on Jan. 30 and Panama on Feb. 2.

Initially set to be played behind closed doors due to previous instances of the anti-gay chant, de Luisa announced on Monday that the Court of Arbitration for Sport will allow FMF to reopen the Estadio Azteca. Capacity will be limited to 2,000 for the coming matches in order to test the new measures.

The FMF follow a three-step protocol that has previously been used to pause and halt matches when the anti-gay chant can be heard. In recent months, Liga MX's "Grita Mexico" campaign has also pushed to eradicate the chant in domestic club matches.