MLS hits Inter Miami with record $2M fine

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Major League Soccer levied a $2 million fine on Inter Miami on Friday after an investigation found that the second-year team violated the league's salary budget and roster regulations.

MLS also fined Miami managing owner Jorge Mas $250,000 and suspended former sporting director Paul McDonough through the end of the 2022 season. McDonough was fired by Atlanta United on Friday.

The investigation, which began in August 2020, found that Miami incorrectly designated roster categorization for players Blaise Matuidi and Andrés Reyes who should have occupied Designated Player slots.

The violations also included undisclosed agreements that resulted in the underreporting of salary budget amounts for players Leandro González Pirez, Nicolás Figal and Julián Carranza.

"The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct, and it is a fundamental principle of our league that our clubs are responsible for adhering to all league regulations," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "Our rules will not be compromised. These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami's violations, should encourage complete cooperation by all parties in future investigations, and will serve as a deterrent for clubs from violating roster rules."

Mas acknowledged the violations in their inaugural season.

"We have worked closely with MLS to address these issues and have made significant changes in our management structure," Mas said in a statement. "Following our inaugural season, we took a deep look at our soccer operations leadership group and made decisions that not only strengthened our internal roster compliance measures, but also better positioned us to build a sustainable, long-term competition strategy with the hiring of Chris Henderson as Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director in 2021."

MLS also imposed a reduction of $2,271,250 in allocation dollars for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

The previous record fine was the $150,000 levied against Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen in 2015.

The investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of Inter Miami owners Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son, Jose Mas and David Beckham.

-Field Level Media