Sunday, January 23 2022

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ZURICH (AP) Mexico will have to play in an empty stadium for its next two home games in World Cup qualifying because of persistent anti-gay chants by fans, FIFA said Monday.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The Mexican soccer federation was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($110,000) for charges of “discriminatory behavior by supporters.”

It’s the latest punishment in a long-standing campaign to stop fans from directing slurs at opposing players.

[ MORE: How to watch World Cup qualifying ]

Mexico will host Costa Rica on Jan. 30 and Panama on Feb. 2 in an empty stadium, costing the federation millions of dollars in lost revenue.

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When was the latest incident?

The anti-gay chants were heard last month when Mexico hosted qualifiers against Canada and Honduras. The storied Azteca Stadium drew a combined attendance of more than 130,000 fans for those games.

[ LIVE: Scores, updates on UEFA World Cup qualifiers ]

The Azteca was empty when Mexico opened World Cup qualifying in September against Jamaica because of a previous FIFA punishment.

Mexico is scheduled to host the United States on March 24.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Mexico to play in empty stadium for two World Cup qualifiers as anti-gay chants persist originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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