LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Football Club’s inaugural season may just be getting underway, but the newest MLS expansion team is already warning its fans against using what some say is a gay slur.
A statement issued Monday evening condemned the shouts of “puto” that were heard during the LAFC’s game against the Seattle Sounders at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday.
The “offensive” chants accompanied goal kicks by Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei during LAFC’s 1-0 victory, the team said.
While such shouts are considered commonplace among Mexican fans when the opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick, LAFC officials say any fans who participate in similar chants at Banc of California Stadium “will be removed from the stadium and the Club will revoke their season membership.”
“The offensive goal kick chant is wrong and not what we are about,” said LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn and Josef Zacher, President of the 3252 Independent Supporters Union in a joint statement. “We ask that all of our fans and Supporters work to hold each other accountable to eliminate this from Banc of California Stadium.”
Team officials pledged to enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards “the use of offensive language and inappropriate chants” at the new stadium.
The 3252, which is comprised of affiliate supporter groups and independent supporters with active LAFC season memberships, posted its own statement on Instagram calling the chant an “intolerable ‘tradition'”.
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A beautiful homecoming can be spoiled by intolerable “tradition.” . Our code of conduct includes the following tenant: “We embrace everyone who is willing to stand with The 3252, sing with The 3252 and support the Los Angeles Football Club with us no matter your race, national origin, religion, political views, sexual orientation or gender. Discrimination or prejudice will never be tolerated by The 3252 Independent Supporters Union.” . We will continue to work with LAFC fans and front office staff to eliminate any discriminatory chants in The North End and Banc of California Stadium.
Last year, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which governs the World Cup, cleared the Mexican national team of improper conduct by their fans following complaints that the chant was used during a match against Cameroon.