The ‘bicha’ chant (ENG ‘faggot’) follows a similar song perpetrated by Mexico fans – ‘eeeeeh puto’ – and is usually directed at the opposition goalkeeper when he is taking a goal kick.
The club took to social media to condemn the chant and warn supporters that it will not be tolerated at its ground. In a Facebook post, Rio Claro FC wrote: “Rio Claro FC makes a different type of work and it is aimed at taking football beyond the four lines. We use our influence to talk about serious things too.”
Under the slogan “No! No we are not afraid of your homofobia disguised as banter!”, the club made an open invitation to LGBT fans to join them, ensuring action upon all forms of discrimination.
“We stand for the end of homophobia in football and we encourage all of those that identify themselves with our message to come to our matches in Scmidtão. Here, you will not hear ‘bicha’ whenever the goalkeeper takes a goal kick, here, we are all equal, we are all brothers.
“We stand against and condemn all forms of discrimination in our stadium, whether it is based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sex, or of social nature. Football is like the world, for everyone!” continued the club’s post.
The initiative comes as Europe and Canada celebrate Football v Homophobia month of action and days before the first national meeting of Brazilian fan groups, which brought together over 60 fans, activists and journalist to São Paulo to discuss different topics around football, fan groups and the media, including LGBTphobia and the fight against discrimination.