MLS investigating alleged racial slur


The North American Soccer League (MLS) announced on Monday that it will investigate an alleged racial slur uttered by a DC United player against an Inter Miami opponent, who led the coach of the first, Wayne Rooney, to immediately replace him.

“MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and we take such allegations very seriously,” an MLS spokesperson told ESPN. “An investigation into this case will begin soon. Further information will be provided at the end of this. »

The incident is believed to have occurred at the 59e minute of a championship game won by Miami (3-2). During a clash, the Greek Taxiarchis Fountas allegedly called the Jamaican Damion Lowe a « nigger », causing the match to be interrupted by the referee, who, after having warned the two players, spoke with their coaches, Wayne Rooney and Phil Neville.

Rooney then made it known that he would release Fountas to replace him, and kept his commitment as soon as play resumed, after several minutes of tense discussions.

“It was an unacceptable racist remark. The word is unacceptable, it is the worst word in the world. There is no place for racism on a soccer field. I have to congratulate my players for keeping calm. I have to commend the referee for handling a really tough situation and I have to give credit to Wayne Rooney for handling things the way he did,” Neville said after the game.

He then again greeted Rooney, whom he knows well for having played with him for a long time, in the jerseys of Manchester United and the England team. “I’ve always known him as someone who acts with class. He has risen in my esteem again, more than for any goal he has ever scored. »

The person concerned did not want to linger, explaining: “There was a complaint, I am sure that it will be examined. I can’t say much more. »

Taxiarchis Fountas categorically denied having uttered this insult. “I did not use the word that I am accused of having used. I denounce this despicable racist insult, which I did not utter […] I am truly upset to be wrongly accused,” he wrote on Twitter.

Responding to the press after the game, referee Ismail Elfath claimed that neither he nor his aides heard the word uttered.

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