MEXICO CITY — United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan was taunted with an offensive and homophobic slur within the opening minutes of the national team’s World Cup qualifier in Mexico on Sunday night.
Guzan was the latest opposition keeper to be on the receiving end of the Estadio Azteca crowd’s long-standing habit of yelling “puto” — which translates as “gay prostitute” — whenever visiting players take a goal kick.
Mexico has been fined on at least eight separate occasions over the behavior of its fans, most recently over a similar incident earlier this year. The chant was even heard during last season's National Football League game at the same venue, between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders.
The Mexican soccer federation issued a plea to its fans before this game, with a request emblazoned on an electronic sign between the upper and lower bowls of the arena.
“Chanting ‘puto’ does not make you more Mexican,” the statement read. “Help us to avoid sanctions. Join us.”
However, it fell on deaf ears as thousands of fans joined in the chant when the ball went out of play and Guzan lined up a goal kick in the second minute.
In July, Guzan will join new Major League Soccer team Atlanta United, whose fans earned condemnation at the start of the season for copying the “puto” chant at a home game.