FIFA reduces penalty on Mexico for anti-gay chants at games

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The world soccer body has agreed to reduce Mexico’s punishment for anti-gay chants heard during the Olympic qualifying matches in March, Mexican soccer officials said Wednesday.

The Mexican soccer federation said it had been notified by FIFA that Mexico’s men team will have to play only one game without fans, instead of two as was originally imposed.

The ban will be applied Sept. 2, when Mexico’s national team plays Jamaica at the beginning of the region’s World Cup qualifiers. The game will take place at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Mexican soccer league petitioned FIFA asking it to reconsider the original sanctions on the grounds the punishment would affect Mexico’s national team even though the chants happened in a game played by the Sub23 team.

Soccer officials have attempted to stop anti-gay chants at Mexican national team matches.