If Mexican soccer fans chant a homophobic slur at the opposing team’s goal keeper, the referees will now stop the game, and force the teams to play without an audience.
FIFA has fined the Mexican football federation because of it in the past, ESPN reported. Referees will have the ability to stop the game for five to 10 minutes, take the players back to the locker rooms, and even make them play behind closed doors. The federation president said that if the chants continue, they could run the risk of being left out of the World Cup.
"If we don't resolve this problem before the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022, we'd be putting ourselves at risk of being punished by point deductions and in the worst-case scenario missing out on the World Cup," federation president Yon de Luisa said, according to ESPN. "But we are convinced, as an industry, that we can't miss out on a competition, especially a World Cup, for something off the field."