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San Diego stadium board wants to stamp out slurs at soccer matches

Tom Krasovic, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Soccer

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego stadium board wants to stamp out the chanting of slurs at soccer games, in light of Mexican fans chanting an anti-gay slur in the Mission Valley stadium this July and recent efforts to broaden professional soccer's footprint in San Diego County.

"As San Diego becomes a host city for soccer, we should nip this culture in the bud," board member Jess Durfee said, four days after the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match, per the minutes of the advisory board of the stadium.

The board approved Durfee's motion to recommend City Hall try to put an end "to discriminatory slurs and chants at soccer games as the city pursues the opportunity to host a Major League Soccer team or other soccer teams in the future."

During the July 9 match between Mexico and El Salvador, Mexican fans chanted "puto!" in derision of certain El Salvador actions.

The meaning of puto varies among cultures.

While Mexicans have likened the word to traitor or coward when used in a sports context, some U.S. language experts have deemed it anti-gay and say puto must go.

The chant persists at Mexican matches, including pro soccer games in Tijuana.

International soccer might return to the Mission Valley stadium. Also, Oceanside is the planned site for a stadium to house a club in the North American Soccer League. In San Diego next year, an initiative seeking an MLS team for the Mission Valley site will go to a public vote.

Though the chants aren't prevalent in U.S. soccer leagues, a Los Angeles affiliate of MLS took actions to eliminate chanting of slurs at its games.

"The city of San Diego must not sit back and let this happen and become part of our soccer culture," Durfee said.

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