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ROSTOV-ON-DON (AP):With a single goal, Luis Suarez settled the fate of four teams in the group stage of the World Cup.The controversial striker, who was making his 100th appearance in his national team's light blue, scored Wednesday to give Uruguay...

FIFA fines Mexico federation $10K

FIFA on Wednesday handed the Mexico Football Federation a $10,400 fine for "discriminatory and insulting chants" during a World Cup game against Germany.

The FIFA disciplinary committee handed down the 10,000 Swiss francs fine (the equivalent of $10.4k U.S.) on Wednesday for chants directed at Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

A source also told ESPN's Rene Tovar that if the chants continue during matches, stadium security would begin to identify and remove the offending fans from the stands.

Mexican fans have long shouted the word, which gay rights groups argue is anti-gay.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico," FIFA wrote.

FIFA also sanctioned the Serbian Football Association $10,000 "for the display of an offensive and political banner by Serbian fans during the match played between Serbia and Costa Rica."

The Mexican Football Federation, which began a campaign ahead of the World Cup to end the chant, was sanctioned 12 times for anti-gay slurs during the World Cup qualifying campaign, receiving warnings for the first two offences and fines for 10 more.

The chant was also widely heard at Mexico games in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when FIFA took no action, but the governing body has since launched a clampdown. Other Latin American teams, including Argentina and Chile, have also been fined.

"The decision was passed after a thorough assessment of the relevant match reports, the FMF's precedents and the evidence provided, which included videos of the incidents as well as examples of certain sustainable actions taken by the FMF to raise awareness among its supporters," FIFA said. "Moreover, the Disciplinary Committee gave a warning to the FMF, who may face additional sanctions in case of repeated infringements of this type."

Although the Mexican team has appealed before for an end to the chants -- the players even released a video on the subject in 2016 -- some supporters have not relented.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez on Wednesday appealed to his country's football fans to stop their anti-gay chanting at World Cup matches, arguing it could lead to further fines from FIFA.

Hernandez posted a message on Instagram on Wednesday asking fans to end their derogatory chants during their opponents' goal kicks.

"To all Mexican fans in the stadiums, don't shout 'pu--'," Hernandez said. "Let's not risk another sanction."

Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Marco Fabian made a similar plea via his social media on Wednesday, retweeting the Mexico Federation's educational campaign to end the use of the chant, along with this message.

"Yes, we all know that it is not an anti-gay slur nor is it insulting. The intent is not to offend and it is meant to be teasing and part of Mexican folklore. But we also know that when we as Mexicans put our minds to something, we accomplish it. And I know that our Mexican fans in Russia will be abstaining from using this chant, correct?"

Thousands of Mexican fans have flooded into Russia for the World Cup and some chanted the abuse during the match against Germany on Sunday, prompting FIFA to announce disciplinary procedures earlier this week.

Mexico caused a major shock by beating Germany 1-0 in their opening game in Group F. They next play South Korea on Saturday. FIFA is employing three specialist observers at each World Cup match to report discriminatory behaviour by spectators.


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#BTEditorial – Glowing eulogies are not for the dead

They say Romeo does talk, but the people don’t listen to parents, politicians or priests, but the calypsonians get an ear because we are the vehicle to inform the masses.” Charles “Romeo” Smith, November 2016.

Charles Romeo Smith was laid to his eternal rest yesterday having enriched Barbados’ cultural landscape since 1963. He left many cherished memories and moments in the hearts and minds of Barbadians as well as the several colleagues with whom he would have rubbed shoulders professionally for more than five decades.

Over the years Romeo would have produced a body of work that included such gems as Scavengers from the late 1960s, the 1973 classic A Land So Dear, as well as his 1981 Pic-O-De-Crop-winning selections Brother Fuzzy and Gem Gone. Though he never won the crown again, Romeo remained a permanent fixture in Barbados’ premier cultural event - the Crop Over Festival - and gave of his music, time, advice and affection to those who sang beside him and those who watched him in the audience.

However, it is a pity that the huge volume of songs which he would have performed over the past decades is not part of a catalogue stored by calypso tents or the National Cultural Foundation for posterity. It is one of the weaknesses of our festival that many excellent songs are lost forever annually because they do not make it out of the tents in terms of recordings or due to the lack of advancement in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.

Following Romeo’s death accolades have streamed from several sources. They have referred to his love of country, the art form, his willingness to help others, his unselfish nature, his good heart, his penchant for sharing ideas and encouraging young calypsonians, his dedication to fighting causes in the name of fellow calypsonians and his ever affable nature. During remarks following Romeo’s passing, Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King had this to say: “I think that when the historians begin to write, that his name will be mentioned in a good place as one of the pioneers. But also if you study his work, some of the things that he sang, he used Barbadian dialect well, he used Barbadian sayings. Romeo was such a gem.” Mr King’s predecessor Mr Stephen Lashley was in similar tongue and tone, noting that Romeo would be remembered for his significant contribution to the development and enhancement of the calypso art form in Barbados and beyond. “Romeo has left an indelible mark on the history of calypso in Barbados and we applaud his selfless contribution, even during times of personal difficulty,” Lashley said.

And here is where Romeo’s story gets somewhat sad. Romeo last appeared on a calypso stage in 2008 and even then he was not 100 per cent in terms of his health. And we ask the question, what was done between 2008 and May 2018 to show this Barbadian gem how much he was appreciated? How did the Government - specifically the Ministry of Culture and the National Cultural Foundation - demonstrate the nation’s respect and admiration for this calypsonian? How did the calypso tents and fellow calypsonians with whom he was associated demonstrate that Romeo’s worth was tremendous in their estimation? How did Barbados react in this national treasure’s moments of greatest vulnerability over the last decade?

We respect and agree with all the praises which have been showered on the late Charles Romeo Smith. But did he know these things? Did Barbados officially convey its appreciation for him and his contributions to his face or within his earshot in a major way? Good or great things said in a eulogy might make the living feel warm and fuzzy but they do nothing for the deceased. Eulogies are not for the dead.

While expressing his gratitude that Barbados had honoured Anthony Gabby Carter for his contributions to calypso, Romeo once said in an interview that more calypsonians were deserving of the country’s highest honours. He noted then that Barbados’ 50th anniversary celebrations were particularly appropriate to do such as it would remind everyone of the importance of the music of Barbados. Unfortunately, it seems that our cultural performers are often placed somewhere near the bottom rungs of the ladder with respect to accolades and national recognition while politicians and to some extent academics are placed at the top. Our history is replete with too many examples of persons who have made tremendous contributions to Barbados but meaningful national recognition was often slow or late in coming. 

The likes of musician Lord Radio and sportspersons Seymour Nurse and Kathy Harper-Hall, cultural practitioner and trade unionist Nigel Harper, educators Viola Davis, Charles Pilgrim and Pamela Hinkson, attorney-at-law Robert Bobby Clarke and several others, have left an indelible mark on the lives of thousands of Barbadians and on the Barbadian tapestry. But do they know how much we appreciate them? Perhaps, this is the time to start praising them from the church steeples when they can hear, rather than do it when they lie in a box in the aisle where they can’t. 

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Exxon in 8th oil strike

…announces plans for third drill ship …eyes additional development southeast of the Stabroek Block U.S oil giant ExxonMobil Corporation made its eighth discovery offshore Guyana at the Longtail-1 well, much to the satisfaction of the Government and people of Guyana. In making the announcement on Wednesday, ExxonMobil disclosed that plans are in the pipeline to

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PPP accused of rigging Toshaos elections

…ministers point to “glaring evidence of political interference” MINISTERS of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock and Valerie Garrido-Lowe are calling out the Parliamentary Opposition for allegedly blatantly disregarding the Amerindian Act 2006 and interfering with the results of the just concluded National Village Council Elections. According to a release the ministers in a joint interview

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GWI to ramp up service delivery

…several projects planned for coast, hinterland ON the back of an approval for it to raise water tariffs, the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) says that it is in a state of readiness to meet the deadlines for improvement set by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and announced a range of projects it intends to roll

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OVERCOME with grief at a murder committed by his brother, Brenton McLean wept as he hugged the murder victim’s son and apologised to him yesterday.

Maria devastates Dominica
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AG: Judiciary, DPP getting help
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