The new joint MLS-Liga MX All-Star game kicked off on Wednesday night in Los Angeles with tremendous fanfare and a sold out crowd at the Banc of California Stadium.
The match, however, made it just 10 minutes before officials had to stop play due to an anti-gay chant.
The chant is something that FIFA has been working to remove from Mexican soccer and the global game for years. The sport’s governing body has a three-step plan in place for when officials hear a chant during play, starting with a game stoppage and a verbal warning. The second step is to suspend the game and move players off the field, and the third step is to end the match completely.
The Mexican Soccer Federation promised to crack down on the chant again this season, but fans have been belting it out at most of the Mexican men’s national team games in 2021. The team will have to play one of its qualifying games for the 2022 World Cup in an empty stadium because of it after the chants were heard during Olympic qualifying matches.
Other than the stoppage, the All-Star Game seemed to be a success. The MLS team beat the Liga MX team in penalty kicks in front of more than 22,000 fans in Southern California after FC Dallas’ Ricardo Pepi hit the game-winning goal.