During the last World Cup I wrote about how Mexico fans need to grow the hell up and drop the "p**o" bit before FIFA grows a pair and forces them to. A day or so later, FIFA gutlessly decided to go along with the "quaint, indeed almost charming, local tradition" theory of homophobic insults, thus avoiding having to do something which would divert media attention away from the glorious pageantry of sportsmanship, love and fair play which is the quadrennial FIFA Cash-a-Palooza.
What did happen however was that a whole bunch of wretchedly stupid fans of said team filled the response thread with a) laughable explanations of why using a gay slur is perfectly acceptable and b) descriptions of anatomically impossible acts which I should go ahead and perform on myself.
What I also got was a bunch of private messages from other Mexico fans saying "those guys don't speak for all of us", to which my reaction was "yes they do if they're the only ones saying anything."
So here we are two years later and FIFA has finally decided to get serious about it - they have now fined the FMF an impressive 8 times for this behavior - and, this having had no discernible effect, they have now installed cameras aimed at Mexico supporters sections in order to monitor fan behavior, as they now routinely do when dealing with lowlife fan groups known for violent and/or racist behavior.
A truly proud day for Mexican soccer.
After the first ConFedCup match last week, when the "p**o" chant came across loud and clear despite the fines and the pleading of the FMF and the players themselves, the Chairman of FIFA's Disciplinary Committee Anin Yeboah, (a Ghanaian Supreme Court Justice if anyone cares) instituted a three step program which, after an initial warning, instructs the referee to stop the game and issue a final warning to the fans.
If it happens again the referee is instructed to declare the match suspended.
The fans apparently got the message against New Zealand that FIFA is done screwing around with this garbage - the "p**o" chant was blessedly unheard.
This doesn't mean, of course, that Mexico fans have decided to grow up, join the 21st Century and stop using vile homophobic insults, only that they've decided not to intentionally throw away a shot at winning the Cup for the sake of proving whatever point they think they've been making.
Nonetheless, I'm not going to be writing about this because I just don't feel like wading through another stack of ridiculous justifications like "it isn't an insult", "it doesn't mean gay prostitute" and, my favorite "it's really a friendly term which we sometimes call each other, like 'dude' " since a) yes it is, b) yes it does, and c) so thousands of fans in the Azteca earlier this month were calling Brad Guzan "dude"?
Next someone will tell me that throwing bananas at black players is an expression of concern for whether they're getting enough potassium in their diets.
It's had a good run. Now it's time to stop. But you won't hear that from me.
And while I'm not on the subject, I also won't be writing about the Confederations Cup.
Partly because no one cares including, apparently, Germany, which sent a side no one could confuse with the actual German National Team.
Mostly though, because this unloved tournament is going away after this year. Giananni Infantino claims they'll examine their options when the time comes but, in reality, everybody knows the score.
For one thing, it's only possible because it's held after the European leagues close for the summer, but in four years, with Qatar as the host, a June tournament is out of the question for the same reason they moved the main event to December in the first place.
And a December Confederations Cup would require lengthy player releases, which is a non-starter.
The guessing is that if they decide Qatar needs some kind of dry run event they'll have them host the FIFA Club World Cup.
Four years after that, in World Cup Norte Americano '26, there won't be any new venues that FIFA will need to shake down. As Sunil Gulati famously said back when South Africa 2010 looked like it was in trouble, the US can host a World Cup with six weeks notice.
We won't be opening any new stadiums and nobody needs to check and see whether AT&T stadium in Dallas has decent media and telecom facilities or whether there are enough hotel rooms and restaurants near Soldier Field or if MetLife Stadium has sufficient road, rail and air access. Waste of time.
In any case, the real problem, as illustrated this year in Russia, is that there are too many games that the locals don't want to watch and fans won't pay thousands and thousands of dollars to travel to.
So since the ConFedCup has one foot in the grave anyway, I'm not wasting my time writing about it.
Finally, in the "I Have Not the Strength Dept.", I give you Qatar, where the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is responsible for delivering the stadia and infrastructure for the World Cup, has delivered a most curious stadium feature:
A "Sensory Room".
Because the "general match day atmosphere" is "overwhelming" to some fans, a room in the brand new Khalifa International stadium has been fitted with "noise cancellation materials, soft furnishings, mood lighting, relaxing music and brightly-colored toys and equipment". These features are designed to manage anxiety and allow fans to watch the match from a "more welcoming and sedate" vantage point.
That is to say, on TV.
Since I have no desire to appear insensitive to people with cognitive disabilities who find attending soccer games to be overwhelming, I won't be pointing out that I can think of at least one other place where a fan could watch a match on TV in comfortable, "non-threatening and sedate" environs:
Why would someone pay to fly to Qatar, book an expensive hotel room and shell out for a pricey World Cup ticket package so that they can watch the games on TV?
So because I clearly don't understand the whole thing, I'm just not saying a word about it.