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Report: FMF mulling having Women’s National Team play two games behind closed doors

A report in CANCHA alleges the Federation is considering having the women’s national team serve the punishment FIFA handed down for repeated use of el grito homófobo at men’s games

Mexican Football Federation Press Conference Photo by Angel Castillo/UJam Media/Getty Images

Update: Yon de Luisa has disputed the assertion that the Women’s National Team would serve the penalty, saying FIFA has not told the FMF who exactly will be sanctioned.

According to a report published this morning by CANCHA, FMF President Yon de Luisa “asked to know if el Tricolor Femenil could come to the rescue and play the next two games without fans, imposed as punishment because of el grito homófobo.” The Mexican Federation is under sanction by FIFA for fans using the homophobic goalkeeper chant during men’s games, and will be forced to play two matches behind closed doors as punishment.

If the reports are true, this is an outrageous bait-and-switch that will force the women’s team to suffer the penalties accrued by fans at men’s games. México’s Senior Women’s National Team hasn’t played in front of fans in México since June 10, 2017, and is recently re-establishing itself after decades of neglect and mismanagement from the Mexican Fútbol Federation.

“To think the last game we played in México with fans is going to be practically two years ago and now sanctions for discriminatory actions to return and play without people, I think it is something the fans don’t deserve,” de Luisa told CANCHA, referring to the men’s team that has played 10 matches in México since the last time the women played in the country in front of fans. Over that time span, México has also played 26 games in the United States against teams other than the United States, 15 of which were friendlies. To contrast, México’s women have played just 17 total friendlies in that time span against all opponents and in all countries.

It’s also important to note (as the CANCHA article points out) that the women currently do not have any matches scheduled beyond Tuesday’s friendly in the US. The plan then seems to be to schedule two friendlies for the women’s national team in México before the men’s World Cup Qualification begins in September to avert the men’s team fulfilling the punishment that their matches have earned them.

While this may not be approved by FIFA, that the FMF would even attempt this is particularly damning and sends a terrible message to everyone involved. Hopefully the Federation remembers their pledge from earlier this week to “create an alliance full of equality, power, equity, struggle, and empowerment” for its women’s team and decides not to punish them for the repeated transgressions of the men’s fans.