Brazilian referee stops football match following homophobic chants

Following a similar incident with a French referee last month, a referee stopped a match and told one team's coach that the game would not continue if the homophobic chants didn't stop.

Brazil referee Anderson Daronco who stopped match over homophobic chants

Homophobic chants have plagued football for many years. These instances play out in situations such as when there is an opposing player that fans don’t like, in football songs about rival teams and chants as opposing teams are taking a penalty.

On the back of Brazil‘s Supreme Court decision that discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity is now a crime in Brazil, the Superior Sports Justice Court (STJD) has followed suit.

The STJD has established specific punishments for homophobic behaviour by players, clubs and fans.

If a breach occurs during a cup match, the team in question could face elimination from the tournament.

The rules were put into action during a match between two Brazillian league teams Sao Paulo and Vasco. Referee Anderson Daronco stopped proceedings momentarily and approached the home side’s coach, Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Daronco told him the game would not continue until Vasco fans stopped homophobic chants.

The coach then turned to the fans, gesturing for them to stop, which they did eventually and so the game continued.

In his match reports, Daronco included the homophobic chants and the STJD will analyse the case, which could result in Vasco being docked three points.

In 2018, the Brazillian Football Confederation (CBF) was fined by FIFA for five instances of homophobic chanting throughout the World Cup qualifiers.

Similarly, in July, a French football match was brought to a stop over homophobic chants.

The Ligue 2 game between Nancy and Le Mans was paused by the referee after repeated homophobic chanting from the home side.

The move cane following new regulations aimed at tackling discrimination in French football.

France’s secretary of state for gender equality and anti-discrimination, Marlene Schiappa, commended the referee for making the call:

“Congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari for having bravely interrupted the match in the face of homophobic songs sun at Nancy-Le Mans, as allowed by the rules.

“Football is an exciting sport. It must remain so for all.”

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