LOS ANGELES: Copa America Centenario organizers called for an end to offensive behavior by fans on Thursday (Friday in Manila) following reports of homophobic chants by Mexico fans during matches at the tournament.
A joint statement from regional confederations CONCACAF and CONMEBOL did not mention Mexico by name, but hit out at “derogatory and offensive” fan behavior at “certain” matches.
“[We] take any chants or actions that are derogatory or offensive during our matches very seriously,” the statement said.
“This behavior does not reflect the true spirit of football and must be stopped.”
The statement comes at a sensitive time for the host nation United States, which is mourning the murder of 49 revelers at a gay nightclub on Sunday.
Tributes to those slain in the the massacre have been a feature of matches played since the killings, with players lining up for a moment of silence before games played.
The CONCACAF/CONMEBOL statement however made no mention of the kinds of sanctions incidents of offensive fan behavior might attract.
Last month Mexico’s Football Federation lost an appeal against a $35,000 fine by world governing body FIFA over homophobic chants by its fans during a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador in November last year.
The same chant which brought a FIFA fine could be heard in Mexico’s final Group C game against Venezuela on Monday.