MLS investigating alleged racial slurs at Inter Miami-DC United game

MLS has said it will investigate the alleged use of a racial slur during Sunday’s match between Inter Miami and DC United, in which DCU striker Taxi Fountas is alleged to have led the word N against Inter Miami defender Damian Lowe.

“MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and we take these allegations very seriously,” an MLS spokesperson said in a statement to ESPN. “An investigation into this matter will begin promptly. Further information will be provided at the end of this investigation.”

A DC United spokesperson also released a statement, which read: “DC United is aware of the allegations involving a player during the game against Inter Miami CF. The club will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.”

The incident happened around the 59th minute of a 3-2 win at Miami. A fight ensued between Fountas and Lowe. Miami defender Aime Mabika then reacted angrily to Fountas. Referee Ismail Elfath warned Fountas and Lowe of the incident, but later spoke with the captains of both teams as well as respective managers, Phil Neville of Inter Miami and Wayne Rooney of DC United.

In response to a post-match question from a pool reporter, Elfath said that neither he nor any other member of the officiating team had heard a racial slur being used. After a delay of several minutes play continued, but Fountas was substituted in the 66th minute.

Rooney said: « There has been a complaint, which I’m sure will be investigated. I can’t say much more.”

It was up to Neville to reveal the nature of the confrontation.

“We need to address an issue that may have been swept under the rug in the past, but we are a club that prides itself on our diversity and inclusion of our staff and supporters, and there is no any room for racism in football. of the pitch or the company,” Neville said in his post-match press conference. “A word was used which is unacceptable in society. It’s the worst word in the world.”

Miami defender DeAndre Yedlin later said on a post-game zoom call that the players had informed Neville that they would not continue unless something was done about Fountas. Rooney quickly made the decision to replace Fountas.

« We got the win, but at the end of the day it doesn’t even feel like a win because of this incredibly dark moment, so now we’ll see what MLS will do about it, » Yedlin said. “My eyes will be on that a lot. It is up to them to act, to take a stand and to show that not only does this have no place in the game, but not in society.”

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