Statement: FIFA must come out and say it


Use of anti-gay epithet in the soccer field is not unique to Mexico’s supporters but massive World Cup audience gives FIFA members a great chance to teach tolerance and understanding

Los Angeles, CA – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) urged the International Federation of Associations Football (FIFA) and its member associations to take advantage of the world stage at the World Cup in Brazil to actively campaign against homophobia, transphobia, and otherwise insulting and demeaning use of language and behavior that strikes at the dignity of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals.

The following are statements for Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director.

“The world is passionately watching and enjoying soccer right now presenting FIFA with a golden opportunity to score big against anti-LGBT language and behavior.  Just as FIFA has stood firm against racism, we expect an unequivocal rebuttal to any and all uses of language and behavior that demeans, insults, and pokes fun at LGBT persons by an individual or thousands all at once. 

There’s nothing culturally-acceptable about homophobia, intolerance, and discrimination in the beautiful world of soccer.  As various countries meet at the World Cup for fame, glory, and the honor of being the best sports team, we call on all players, managers, executives, and fans to dignify the sport by exercising respect, sensitivity, and humanity to everyone involved. 

To be passionate about a sport we love is understandable and encouraged.  To be a misinformed bigot while passionately rooting for our team cheapens the sport, endangers the convivial and multicultural nature of competition, and insults the human condition.”