FIFA HAVE OPENED a disciplinary case against the Ecuador FA over alleged homophobic chanting by their supporters during Sunday’s World Cup Group A victory over Qatar.
FIFA announced the disciplinary action this morning, citing Article 13 of their Disciplinary Code, under which they punish discriminatory chanting.
The42 understands that the case is related to allegedly homophobic chanting by a section of the Ecuador support, and is not related to those same supporters’ widely-viewed chants of ‘We want beer’, following the last-minute decision to remove beer kiosks from stadiums.
The investigation may not be completed until after the World Cup, and, if the incident is deemed worthy of punishment, it will most likely come in the form of a fine. Any punishment affecting Ecuador’s players on the pitch is highly unlikely.
This case means Fifa may punish homophobic chanting in a country which criminalises homosexuality.
Meanwhile, the German FA are taking legal advice over Fifa’s decision to ban European nations from wearing a rainbow-coloured ‘One Love’ armband. The captains of all European sides aside from France planned to wear the armband for the World Cup, to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. On the day before the tournament began, however, Fifa introduced a set of armbands bearing different slogans, instructing all captains to wear them under punishment of an in-game booking.
Following that intervention, the relevant European sides announced they would not wear the One Love armband as they did not want to put their players in a position whereby they would be booked.
The decision was heavily criticised by Jan Vertonghen of Belgium, who have also been asked to remove the word ‘Love’ from their jersey for commercial reasons.
“It’s an experience I’ve never felt in football before. I feel controlled. I’m afraid to even say something about this.
“We’re just saying normal things about racism and discrimination and if you can’t even say things about it, that says it all.
“I want to appear on the pitch tomorrow, so I’ll leave it at that.”