FarememberandLGBTrightsgroup JUSTABALLGAME?(JBG?)have calledonInternationalOlympicCommittee(IOC)andFIFAtocondemnthehomophobicchantsdirectedatplayersatRIO2016OlympicGamesfootballmatchesandaddresstheissueasaprioritytoensurethesafetyofLGBTplayers,coachingstaffandthoseinthestandsduringtheGames.
The chanting of “bicha” (faggot) in the stadiums, witnessed by fans and journalists during football games, is a recurrent practice in Brazilian football since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after Brazilian fans copied the Mexican also homophobic ‘puto’ chant and adapted it to Portuguese.
In a press release JBG? said: “Moving forward JBG? would like assurances from UEFA that players competing in the Women’s Euro 2017 finals in the Netherlands will be given the protection and support necessary should similar incidents occur.
“JBG? would also like to see UEFA work in collaboration in the lead up to and during the tournament with organisations like ourselves and LGBT fan groups to educate stadium event day staff in dealing with homophobic discrimination promptly, alongside educating supporters on what is acceptable language and we call for official anti-discrimination event days to raise awareness of LGBT inclusion and visibility.”
The chant was also heard during the Australia-Canada, in which at least four players identify publicly as LGBT, including the Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé.