Major League Soccer has found credible allegations that DC United forward Taxi Fauntas used racial slurs against Inter Miami players during an incident during the September 18 match between the teams It said Monday that it had done so, but was unable to independently verify the allegations and will not take disciplinary action against Fountas or DC United.
Fauntas remained voluntarily away from the team pending the investigation and missed the October 1 and 9 games. The league said he is eligible to play in 2023.
The match in question was interrupted for several minutes after an exchange of words between Fauntas and Inter Miami defender Damion Lowe in the 59th minute. Both Fountas and Lowe were issued yellow cards. DC coach Wayne Rooney pulled the Fountas out of the game in the 66th minute.
Referee Ismail Elfas said: athletic Before the use of slander was reported, a player was issued a yellow card for “lack of respect for the game” and “the official heard no racist or abusive language”.Elfath said the incident was also checked by VAR.
Inter Miami’s DeAndre Yedlin said “Damion and the others got into a bit of a brawl” and when Lowe walked away “one of their guys called him the N-ward”. Yedlin added that the Inter players had consulted after the incident and decided not to continue playing unless something was done. According to multiple sources, Rooney and Miami coach Phil Neville met and decided to drop Fauntus from the game at that point.
Neville said Fountas used “racist comments” in the exchange after his team won 3-2, calling his comments “the worst words in the world”.
MLS said in an interview conducted as part of the investigation, Fountas claimed he didn’t say anything “discriminatory or otherwise” during the confrontation. MLS said it has determined that these claims are not credible.
“Video of the incident clearly shows[Inter Miami defender Emme Mavica]suddenly reacting to what he believed he heard from Fauntas,” the league said. “MLS was unable to independently confirm, through additional eyewitness testimony, video footage or audio recordings, what Fauntas said at that moment.
The league added that it will review its policy on allegations of abusive and discriminatory language.Prior penalties for confirmed use of defamatory or offensive language by players and coaches include fines and multiple games. were included in the suspension.
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