Mexico federation to invest in schools if fans stop anti-gay chant vs. Panama
If Mexico fans chant "Eeehhh Mexico" instead of the goalkeeper chant that has been ruled anti-gay by FIFA in next Friday's World Cup qualifier in Estadio Azteca against Panama, the country's federation will allocate the amount it would've been fined into Mexican schools.
The Mexican federation (FMF) has been fined and warned on multiple occasions by FIFA, including 20,000 Swiss Francs ($20,756) for the last World Cup qualifiers in Estadio Azteca against Honduras and the United States, as well as receiving a warning at the Confederations Cup.
"The future of a country is in the education of its youngsters," read a statement from the FMF. "It's always going to be best to allocate resources into the education and physical activity of our kids. The money from the fines would be much better used in schools in our country."
Mexico fans aim the chant at opposition goalkeepers as they run up to take goal kicks, and it garnered international attention at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The FMF has continually attempted to erase the chant, encouraging fans not to do it through campaigns, but it has persisted, causing fears that Mexico could be docked points or even see its games suspended.
U.S.-based El Tri supporters group "Pancho Villa's Army" has joined the campaign to stamp out the chant and fans outside stadiums during June's Confederations Cup held up a banner asking fellow fans not to do it.
Liga MX outfit Tigres has recently attempted a similar initiative, with the club stating it would renovate a school for each game fans chanted "Eeehh Tigres" and it proved successful.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.