Panama punished for homophobic chanting during World Cup qualifiers

Panama will play its next home World Cup qualifying match without spectators as punishment and will also have to pay a fine equivalent to about $54,000.

Panama fans in the stands before the match against Mexico.   -  REUTERS

Panama will play its next home World Cup qualifying match without spectators as punishment for homophobic chanting by its fans during games last month, its football federation said on Friday.

Besides that sanction by world football's governing body FIFA, Panama will also have to pay a fine equivalent to about $54,000, the federation Fepafut said.

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So, Panama will play before empty stands when it hosts El Salvador on November 16 as part of CONCACAF games that will determine Qatar 2022 World Cup participants from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Fepafut said Panama was being punished for "alleged homophobic chanting" by some of its fans during home games in September against Costa Rica and Mexico.

The federation said it "condemns any kind of discrimination, be it in football or any other setting."

Fepafut said it will appeal FIFA's decision.

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