Mexican federation thanks fans for efforts against controversial chant

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican football federation (FMF) has praised Liga MX and national team fans for helping to eradicate the goalkeeper chant that could see El Tri banished from qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The FMF and Liga MX announced a crack-down on the controversial goalkeeper chant, which FIFA has ruled anti-gay, back in September, rolling out a five-step procedure for Liga MX games and Mexico home matches.

The procedure could've seen games temporarily suspended and teams play their next home game behind closed doors, but the FMF thanked fans for responding to the call to stop the chant.

Only two incidents have been registered since the regulations came into force on Oct. 15, with a group of fans, reportedly 30 of them, removed from Estadio Azteca for doing the chant during El Tri's win over Panama. The game between Atlas and Necaxa in Estadio Jalisco on Oct. 25 was also temporarily suspended late on in the only incident of its kind recorded by the FMF.

"We reiterate the call to the fans so that we keep working together to avoid the maximum announced sanctions (relegation, losing a game, or being expelled from a tournament in the case of the national team) in the new FIFA rules regarding offensive or discriminatory acts that occur in stadiums," read the statement.

The chant has previously been used by some fans at Mexico national team and Liga MX games -- as well as in other Latin American countries -- and is aimed towards opposition goalkeepers as they are running up to take goal kicks. The Mexican federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it.

FIFA has recommended the Fare network's Global Guide to Discriminatory Practices in Football as a "useful aid to identifying discriminatory behavior."

It defines the goalkeeper chant as "a homophobic chant usually directed at the opposition goalkeeper when he is taking a goal kick."

The governing body "urges" all associations, leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt its Anti-Discrimination Monitoring system, according to what a FIFA spokesperson told ESPN last June.