In their boldest move yet to stamp out the homophobic chant used by Mexican futbol fans, soccer authorities in this country have changed the name of the upcoming Liga Mx season.
The six-month “Apertura” tournament – in which local teams Chivas and Atlas participate – will be known as Grita México A21 (Shout Mexico A21), as part of a far more rigorous effort to persuade fans to stop the discriminatory chant.
Recently, after several years of simply slapping Mexico with fines for the chant, the International Football Federation (FIFA) took harsher action, ordering the national team to play its next two home games behind closed doors, without any fans. The punishment seems to have shaken the Mexican Soccer Association, now fearful that FIFA might follow through on its threat to ban this country from international soccer competitions. With the qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup coming up in the fall, such a measure would be disastrous for a nation besotted by the round-ball game.
New season under way
The Grita México A21 season kicked off Thursday, and Chivas and Atlas are both in action this weekend. The Chivas open their campaign with a home game at the Akron Stadium against San Luis on Saturday, while Atlas are on the road to Pumas in Mexico City the following day.
Chivas home games (Estadio Akron):
Saturday, July 24, 9 p.m. vs. San Luis
Saturday, August 7, 9 p.m. vs. Juarez
Wednesday, August 18, 9 p.m. vs. Leon
Saturday, August 28, 5 p.m. vs. Necaxa
Saturday, September 18, 9 p.m. vs. Pachuca
Saturday, October 23, 7 p.m. vs. Atlas
Sunday, October 17, 5:30 p.m. vs. Toluca
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m. vs. Cruz Azul
Atlas home games (Estadio Jalisco):
Saturday, July 31, 9 p.m. vs. Juarez
Sunday, August 15, 5 p.m. vs. America
Saturday, August 21, 5 p.m. vs. Toluca
Saturday, September 11, 5 p.m. vs Rayados
Saturday, September 25, 5 p.m. vs. Leon
Tuesday, September 28, 7 p.m. vs. Puebla
Tuesday, October 19, 9:05 p.m. vs. Cruz Azul
Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m. vs. Xolos
Thursday, November 4, 8 p.m. vs. Gallos
Ticket information is on the teams’ websites: chivasdecorazon.com.mx and atlasfc.com.mx.