Brazilian fans chant homophobic slur at Copa America opener

Bolivia's Carlos Lampe fails to stop a penalty from Brazil's Philippe Coutinho during a Copa America Group A soccer match at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

SAO PAULO — Brazilian fans have sung homophobic chants during Copa America's opening match at the Morumbi stadium.

Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Lampe heard the slurs several times Friday, chanted by thousands of Brazil fans behind his goal in Brazil's 3-0 victory.

Homophobic chants were overlooked in South America until recently. They usually take place when the visiting goalkeeper runs to take a goal kick.

Brazilian stadia started seeing a wave of homophobic chants after the 2014 World Cup the South American country hosted.

Governing body FIFA has repeatedly fined the Brazilian soccer confederation for homophobic chants.

On Thursday, Brazil's top court ruled homophobia is a crime akin to racism. Perpetrators of prejudice against homosexuals will be jailed between one and three years.

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