BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 21, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 21, 2023
1 year ago

Referee Forced to End Game Early as Dominant US Performance Triggers Nasty Behavior from Mexico Fans

America’s men’s national soccer team defeated Mexico 3-0 Thursday in a game that was halted after Mexican fans began chanting a homophobic slur.

The U.S. team won on the strength of two goals by Christian Pulisic and one by Ricardo Pepi. It was the most lopsided loss for Mexico since 2000.

For years, Mexican fans have chanted a Spanish vulgarity, which is a word for male prostitute that has become accepted as an anti-gay slur. Last year, Mexico was threatened with sanctions if its fans continued the chant.

With Mexico trailing 3-0 in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal as the second half wound down, the chant emerged again, according to ESPN.

Referee Ivan Barton stopped the game in the final minute of regulation time due to the chanting.

Eventually, the chant returned after a goal kick by U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner, leading Barton to end the game early during stoppage time.

Initially, Concacaf said the game ended at the "referee's discretion,” but later issued a statement acknowledging the fan behavior.

"Concacaf strongly condemns the discriminatory chanting by some fans during the CNL Semifinal match between Mexico and the United States,” the statement said.

"Chants heard during the game led to the activation of the anti-discrimination protocol by the match officials. Additionally, security staff ejected several fans for engaging in unacceptable behavior in the stadium. These incidents were extremely disappointing and tarnished what should have been a positive occasion to showcase high-quality football in our region."

The organization said it was “urgently establishing further details and reports from security and match officials and will make a further statement in short order."

The Mexican Football Federation was fined $108,000 when fans erupted with the chant during the 2022 World Cup.

On the field, the game was intense, with four red cards being issued: Weston McKennie and Sergiño Dest from the U.S. team and César Montes and Gerardo Arteaga from the Mexican team were ejected.

"These are rivalry games. These are derby games. Things like this happen across the world and in no way am I embarrassed," U.S. interim coach  B.J. Callaghan said, according to the Associated Press.

"It comes from a good place. They care about each other so much in that locker room that they're standing up for each other. Sometimes does it have an issue where we take a red card? Yeah, but when you know where it comes from, you can accept it, and it's a learning lesson for us,” he said.

Pulisic put the U.S. ahead in the game’s 37th minute and scored again in the 46th. Pulisic now has 25 goals in 59 international appearances, with four against Mexico.

Pepi scored his goal in the 79th minute.

The U.S. team will now face Canada in the Nations League final Sunday night.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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