The North American Football League (Major League Soccer, MLS) opened an investigation on Sunday over accusations that Portland Timbers player Diego Chará was the victim of racist behavior in the game against Minnesota United .
Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said Chará was cursed by an opponent in his side’s 1-0 loss to Minnesota on Saturday, and accused match officials of not taking the incident seriously. .
In a statement released on Sunday, MLS said it was investigating the incident.
« MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and we take these allegations very seriously, » the league said.
“I am really extremely disappointed that even today we have to face situations that should not happen again, in any sport or anywhere,” said Savarese.
“These are things that are not acceptable and in this game there was an incident which concerned racist comments. A discriminatory word has been uttered against one of our players, and this cannot take place anywhere, in any situation, in any sport, anywhere, ”he said.
“The referee should have handled this situation in a much better way. (…) I am extremely disappointed that this was not taken as seriously as it should have been ”, he added.
“An investigation into this case has already started. Additional information will be provided at the end of this investigation, ”the league said in its press release.