FIFA, the international soccer world’s governing body, has levied fines against Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Urugay because fans have chanted anti-gay slurs.
An investigation is also being conducted against Honduras for “apparent homophobic chants by its supporters.”
A rep for FIFA said the “insulting and discriminatory” shouts came during qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Russia.
The largest fine, 70,000 Swiss francs ($70,000), was handed to Chile for incidents at four separate matches. Fines of 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000) were levied against the other countries.
It’s doubtful the fines will do much to improve FIFA’s reputation with the LGBT community, though.
In 2014, Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) lodged a complaint when Mexican fans chanted “puto” (f*ggot) during a game, but FIFA declared “puto” was not offensive in that context.
“FIFA should take this opportunity to educate and join the movement for equality in sports,” said GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis.
And activists and athletes alike have blasted the organization for holding the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar, two countries with draconian laws banning homosexuality.
“The message FIFA sends to gay athletes is painfully clear,” said out player Robbie Rogers. “Not only don’t they have our backs, our lives don’t matter.”