MLS: Rooney’s D.C. United vs Neville’s Inter Miami clash marred by alleged racial slur

·2-min read
MLS - Phil Neville watches a game from the touchline Credit: PA Images
MLS - Phil Neville watches a game from the touchline Credit: PA Images

MLS are investigating an alleged racial slur used during Sunday’s encounter between Phil Neville’s Inter Miami and Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United.

Neville came out victorious against his former England teammate, with Miami picking up a 3-2 win thanks to a 94th-minute Gonzalo Higuain goal.

It is alleged that D.C. forward Taxi Fountas directed the N-word at Inter Miami defender Damian Lowe.

“MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and we take these allegations very seriously,” an MLS spokesperson told ESPN.

“An investigation into this matter will begin promptly. Further information will be provided upon completion of that investigation.”

A D.C. United statement read: “D.C. United are aware of the allegations involving a player during the match against Inter Miami CF.

“The club will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.”

The alleged incident took place just before the hour mark, seven minutes before Fountas was substituted.

It followed a scuffle between the two players involved in the incident.

After the game, referee Ismail Elfath said none of his fellow officials heard a racial slur being used.

Former Manchester United and Everton forward Rooney did not go into much detail following his side’s defeat.

Rooney said: “There was a complaint, which I’m sure will get investigated. Not much more I can say.”

Neville explained the situation, however.

“We need to address an issue that maybe in the past was swept under the carpet, but we’re a club that is proud of our diversity and inclusion in our staff and supporters, and there is no place at all for racism on a football field or society,” Neville said during his post-match press conference.

“A word was used that is unacceptable in society. It is the worst word in the world.”

Miami defender and former Newcastle United man DeAndre Yedlin later explained that he and his teammates told Neville they would not continue unless Fountas faced some form of consequence.

As mentioned prior, the Greek forward was substituted by Rooney shortly after the alleged incident.

Yedlin said: “We came out with the win, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t even feel like a win because of that incredibly dark moment, so now we’ll see what MLS does about it.

“My eyes will be on that a lot. It’s up to them to take action and make a stand and show that it not only has no place in the game but no place in society.”

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