Major League Soccer (MLS) has launched an investigation following allegations of racism during Sunday’s match between DC United and Inter Miami.
United striker Taxi Fountas was accused of racially abusing Inter defender Damion Lowe.
“There was a racist comment that was unacceptable,” Inter coach Phil Neville said after the game.
“A word was used that I find unacceptable in society, I think it’s the worst word in the world.
Neville, who along with DC United’s Wayne Rooney was asked to speak to referee Ismail Elfath after the clash, added: “There is absolutely no place for racism on the football pitch or in society.”
As the game was suspended, Neville began debating whether his players should leave the field following a brawl between Greek international Fountas and Jamaican Lowe at Washington’s Audi Field.
In the restart, Fountas, who had scored before making it 2-2, was replaced almost immediately by DC boss Rooney.
Neville praised the handling of the incident: “I have to applaud my players for keeping their composure and I have to praise the referee. [In] a really difficult situation he followed the protocols set by the MLS.
“I need [also] Massive, massive respect to Wayne Rooney for tackling the way he did.
“I’ve always known him as a class act and today he rose in my opinion more than he’s ever done, more than any goals he’s ever scored.”
Judge Elfath said that neither he nor the field officials heard any racial abuse, while VAR also verified the incident.
In a statement, MLS said “MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language.
“We take these allegations very seriously. An investigation into this matter will begin immediately.”
Miami won the game 3-2 thanks to a late goal by Gonzalo Higuain.