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US-Mexico Men's Soccer Match Ends Early After Fans Hurl Homophobic Chants at USMNT

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Source: mega

Jun. 16 2023, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

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Homophobic chants from the crowd forced a referee to end the U.S. Men's National Team soccer match against the Mexico National Football Team, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The USMNT faced Mexico Thursday night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The U.S. men beat Mexico 3-0 and earned a spot in the finals against Canada on Sunday; however, the match was plagued with hateful taunting from fans.

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After a dramatic 89 minutes of play, Salvadoran referee Iván Barton was initially forced to interrupt the game due to homophobic chants from Mexico National Team fans.

After Barton's warning was made at the 90-minute mark, twelve minutes of stoppage time was added to the clock. Play resumed — and so did the offensive taunting.

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Mexico's fans reinvigorated the chant around the 8-minute stoppage time mark.

The heated crowd began hurling anti-gay remarks at U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner. As a result of the fan's behavior against U.S. players as they attempted goal kicks, referee Barton called the game.

ESPN reported four minutes remained on the clock at the time of Barton's call, a significant amount of time for the crucial match.

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The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) confirmed the homophobic taunting "led to the activation of the anti-discrimination protocol" in a statement following Thursday's match.

"Concacaf strongly condemns the discriminatory chanting by some fans during the 2023 Concacaf Nations League Semifinal match between Mexico and the United States," the statement read.

"These incidents were extremely disappointing and tarnished what should have been a positive occasion to showcase high quality football in our region," the statement continued. "The Confederation is in the process of urgently establishing further details and reports from security and match officials and will make a further statement in short order."

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Thursday's incident was not the first time the chant was used by Mexico fans. The anti-gay heckling became an unofficial tradition during the opponent's goal kicks.

Last year, FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, slapped The Mexican Football Federation with a $108,000 sanction over similar homophobic chants from fans during the 2022 World Cup.

Despite the federation's effort to stop the chants through social media posts and player-endorsed PSAs, the behavior continued.

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