Despite recent criticism over their behavior, fans will be allowed into the stadium to watch the matchup.
Fans of the Mexican national soccer team have come under increasing scrutiny after continuing to use chants, deemed homophobic.
The league has rolled out an anti-discrimination campaign called ‘What’s Wrong, Is Wrong,’ hoping to change fan behavior.
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The passion and pride Mexican soccer fans have for their team is legendary.
The Dallas Sports Commission describes Dallas as being the team’s ‘home away from home.’
But before fans file into the stadium in Fair Park, they will notice a warning posted at the entrance.
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Fans are warned they could be ejected from the game if they start or join in on homophobic slurs or chants in the stands.
Vulgar language has long been used by some Mexican soccer fans, including during a match at AT&T Stadium in Arlington last weekend.
The team has faced sanctions recently. Fans will not be allowed in for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Mexican officials are speaking publicly about the controversy, pleading for fans to refrain from the chanting.
The Mexican Consulate in Dallas says the city and its residents are privileged to have the opportunity to watch their team on so many occasions. But with privilege comes obligation.
“One obligation is to behave and to behave correctly and to respect,” said Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre. “We are not following tradition. This is not cultural. We should not do this because it’s not respectful.”
De la Torre took to Twitter Tuesday evening pleading for fans to behave.
“I am asking all the Mexican fans of the Mexican team not to join these homophobic chants. There’s no other name for it. It’s a homophobic chant and words have consequences.”
Consequences, including ejections and the suspension of games.
The Dallas Sports Commission, which works to attract sporting events to the city is concerned too.
“It’s a little bit discouraging, and we look forward to seeing some change at tonight’s match,” said Dallas Sports Commission executive director Monica Paul.
“We hope that Mexican fans can realize Dallas is a great futbol city. We don’t want to necessarily be known as the city who has issues with chants and discriminatory words.”
The city could also lose out on opportunities to host additional soccer games that can pump between $10-$25 million into the economy.
Dallas is among 18 cities vying for the 2026 World Cup.
World Cup officials will be visiting Dallas in the coming days. A decision is expected in about seven months.
Paul adds fans could risk attending Sunday night’s anticipated matchup at Cotton Bowl Stadium between Mexico and El Salvador.
The debate over words used by Mexican fans is not cut and dry.
Luis Gaytan of Seagoville admits to using a word that many deem offensive against the LGBTQ community.
“It’s like a cheer,” he said.
Like other fans, he insists the word they use is not used or intended to hurt a specific person.
“No, no, no. That never crossed my mind,” said Gaytan. “You grow up with a very thick skin. So, for Latinos to get insulted by a word like that, it’s very hard. Unless you go directly at them.”
Those in the LGBTQ community argue regardless of the intent, what matters is how the chants are received.
“As a queer-identifying Latinx-identifying person, it makes me sad,” said Mariano Pintor. “For me, it brings just a lot of pain and shame and suffering.”
Gaytan points to a traditionally conservative culture where ‘machismo’ is deep-rooted.
“If anything, the Mexican community should understand we’re under the same spotlight of being judged and criticized and we just really want to enjoy the game too,” said Pintor. “Put yourself in a position of being a 12-year-old fan who doesn’t know their journey, but they’re confused. And they’re using this word in a derogatory fashion to shame the other team. That’s not a good feeling to have.”
Pintor says he understands the passion fans have for the sport and would encourage an alternative cheer to be used by fans.
De la Torre says fans should stick to positive cheers, including the ‘Mexican Wave.’
Gaytan does not believe fans will let up, regardless of the consequences.
“If anything, it’s not going to end it. It’s going to fuel it,” he said.