U.S. Soccer chief: Mexico chant 'inappropriate'

RECIFE, Brazil (USA TODAY) -- The homophobic chant by Mexico fans is "inappropriate" and "offensive," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.

What to do about it is a little tougher.

"FIFA has made a statement on that, so I don't want to second-guess that," Gulati, who also is a member of FIFA's executive committee, said Wednesday in a roundtable with U.S. reporters. "But I think it's highly offensive. And in the year 2014, it's inappropriate."

Mexico fans have long taunted opponents – goalkeepers in particular – with chants of "puto." It has several meanings in Spanish, none of which are complimentary. FIFA cleared the Mexican Football Association on Monday after investigating whether fans had displayed "improper conduct," finding that the chant wasn't insulting "in this specific context."

But Gulati said there is no place in soccer for it.

"I don't know what else to say about it. I find it offensive, inappropriate, given where we are in the world," he said. "It was always inoffensive and inappropriate. It's just now, many more people believe that."

Gulati also was asked his opinion on Uruguay's Luis Suarez, who is being investigated by FIFA for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday's game. This is the third time Suarez has bitten an opponent, and he could be banned for up to two years by FIFA.

"We'll let the disciplinary committee do their work," Gulati said. "If the evidence proves that the incident happened, I would expect the disciplinary committee to act in an appropriate way."

PHOTOS: Passionate World Cup fans!


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