Mexico midfielder Fabian requests fans avoid offensive chant

Mexico midfielder Marco Fabian says there are better ways for fans to support El Tri than to shout “p*to” after opposition goal kicks.

The chant has become a tradition that is unwanted by FIFA. The governing body regularly fines Mexico for the chant, which it rules is homophobic. While many Mexico fans insist it is not offensive, LGBT groups in Mexico continue to request the chant not be used.

FIFA announced Monday it opened an investigation into allegations the chant was heard in El Tri’s 1-0 victory Sunday over Germany. Fabian says it’s an unnecessary distraction, and fans should use other methods of supporting the team.

“This is a good time to send a message. We’re inviting the fans not to shout [the chant], to support us in a different way,” Fabian said at a news conference Tuesday. “I know people have been doing it for a while, but I think there are different norms now. Now they’re saying they might take away people’s Fan IDs and not letting people into games to support us.

“They’ve come such a long way to be here with us supporting us, so it would be a shame if they didn’t let fans in. So we want them to support in a different way. It’s really lovely to hear ‘Cielito Lindo’ and the chants ‘Mexico’. We like the support at 100 percent, but hope that we can stop doing this chant that is affecting us as much as it is, and above all [affecting] Mexico.”

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Mexican fans have taken Moscow, where the first group game took place, by storm with their presence welcomed by locals. In addition to “Cielito Lindo,” a traditional Mexican song, and the three-syllable intonation of the country’s name, fans also chanted, “You can see that we’re the home team once again,” (a phrase that rhymes in Spanish) and “Germany is going to try the national spice,” a song with a double entendre in Spanish. Those chants are welcomed as part of the atmosphere and color Mexicans have added to the tournament.

On the field, it was an impressive performance from El Tri, which controlled the first half and was able to keep the reigning champion from finding the back of the net after the break. The North Americans now have the realistic dream of winning the group, but know they can’t let their guard down against South Korea on Saturday or Sweden next week.

“We’ve see Korea’s games. They’re very quick opponents, really well disciplined tactically and we have to be ready for their counter-attacks,” forward Raul Jimenez said. “We have to show our best level in every game. We still have two opponents left, and we’re focused on winning.”

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