Monterrey beat Cruz Azul 5-1 on aggregate to reach the CONCACAF Champions League final in a match marred by anti-gay chants on Thursday.
The match had to be stopped twice in the second half, in line with FIFA protocol, as the slur could be heard. On 63 minutes, the match referee Cesar Ramos briefly stopped play after it was heard and then moments later the game was stopped again.
The match was then suspended for 10 minutes as both sets of players left the field. Under step two of FIFA’s anti-discriminatory measures, the players were called to the centre of the pitch before they were ordered to the locker rooms as the chanting did not stop.
An announcement was made over the public address system at the Aztec Stadium, demanding fans to cease the anti-gay chants, and security services then arrived at the location the chanting started to find the culprits. After the 10-minute break was over, both teams returned to the pitch and after a short warm-up, the remaining quarter of the game was played without incident.
At the point the match resumed on Thursday, Monterrey were well in charge, leading 4-1on the night and 5-1 on aggregate. Maxi Meza’s seventh minute strike sent them on their way, before Orbelin Pineda gave the hosts hope on 10 minutes when he levelled the score.
Duvan Vergara added soon after to restore his side’s lead. Rogelio Funes Mori struck on 24 minutes to further increase Monterrey’s advantage and grabbed his second of the night on 52 minutes, before the anti-gay chants could be heard.
For about two decades, some El Tri fans gathered in packed stadiums in Mexico and the U.S. have incorporated an anti-gay slur into a chant aimed at opposing goalkeepers. The word has various definitions, among them “male prostitute” or “sodomite,” depending on the cultural context.
In Mexico, it is a vulgar insult synonymous with cowardice, and is considered a slur toward the LGBTQ+ community.
As the overseer of the country’s national teams, the Mexican federation (FMF) has ignored this behaviour even in the face of FIFA punishment. The body has been fined 15 times since the 2014 World Cup because of the chant.
The Rayados will face America in the CCL final on Oct. 28.