CONCACAF say they will address the issue by implementing a range of initiatives meant to inspire fans to experience the Gold Cup in line with the values of acceptance, inclusion and respect among fans and other members of the football community.
This is the first time the Confederation’s tried to eradicate the homophobic chant, which started in Mexico and has spread to other neighbouring countries including the United States, since Mexico was first sanctioned by FIFA in January 2016 for their fans’ homophobic behaviour.
CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio said: “CONCACAF believes the chant is offensive,
“It represents an offensive behavior in the stadiums, and we believe that because we’ve heard that from part of our fan base, it’s incumbent on us to create an environment where we feel comfortable.
“We’re not here to engage in a long, philosophical debate about the nature of being offended, but to try to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable. If the chant is an obstacle to that, then we need to educate people on its offensive nature and try to eradicate it from our stadiums.”
To support this initiative, CONCACAF is working with key stakeholders, including Special Olympics North America and UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean region, on education and actions focused on promoting acceptance and respect at the tournament.
Around the matches, the campaign consists of outreach initiatives including football clinics with children and young adults and social interventions. The clinics will be run in a joint effort with global and local organisations and host cities to promote the campaign’s core values, while educating through football about the importance of understanding and respecting diversity.
These will take place throughout the tournament ahead of the 25 matches providing an opportunity to 600 youth and children.
The campaign will also feature TV, radio and online messaging that celebrates the culture of football fans, respect and unity.
The 14th edition of the continental championship will begin Friday 7 July.