FIFA targets gay slurs by Chile, Mexico fans in Russia

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura talks to media during a news conference at the St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, Friday, June 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — In a bid to rid the World Cup of gay slurs, FIFA will get tough with Latin American fans in Russia.

FIFA has ordered tighter monitoring of offensive incidents at Confederations Cup matches, and wants referees to stop play if fans persist.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura says curbing problems now is "exactly the whole purpose" of anti-discrimination work at the World Cup rehearsal tournament starting Saturday.

Confederations Cup teams Chile and Mexico have been sanctioned by FIFA a combined 17 times for fans' homophobic chants in the current World Cup qualifying program. Both play their opening matches on Sunday.

The chants aimed at opposing goalkeepers are rife in South and Central America football.

Samoura says pre-match announcements can start a process that ultimately allows referees to abandon games.

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