MLS can’t verify Taxi Fountas used slur; calls allegation ‘credible’

Opinion

D.C. United star Taxi Fauntas will not face disciplinary action from MLS after there was no evidence of a racial slur against an opponent during the Sept. 18 game at Audi Stadium.

The league said on Monday that Mami defender Ame Mabika’s allegations were “credible” but could not be “independently verified”. “I don’t find MLS credible that Fountas said anything at that moment — biased or otherwise,” he said. A video of the incident clearly shows Mabika reacting suddenly to what she believes she heard from Fauntas.

As part of the investigation, the league interviewed several people and reviewed video and audio recordings, but was unable to determine “what Fauntas said at that moment.”

Mabika accused Fountas of using the n-word during an incident with Damion Lowe in the second half. Jamaican Lowe and Zambian Mabika are black. Fountains, who is Greek, is white.

Miami refused to resume play until Fauntas was removed from the game. United manager Wayne Rooney has been sacked.

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“I did not use the words I was accused of using,” Fountas wrote in an Instagram post a day later. “That offensive racial slur is one I condemn and have not used. We had a heated discussion on the field. But I have not racially abused anyone. I strongly oppose racism in any form. It is despicable,” he said.

Judge Ismail Elfat told a pool reporter at the time that no officer heard any racism or slurs, and none was found by video review.

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As previously scheduled, Fountas traveled to Greece and played twice for the national team. He was due to return to the States for the last two MLS games of the season, but Rooney gave him more time off, citing the strain on Fountas and his family.

Fountas, United’s only star option, is under contract until the 2024 season. This year, he scored a team-high 12 goals and had 3 assists in 21 games.

In a statement, UN officials said they “appreciate and accept the results of the League’s investigation and, after numerous interviews with individuals involved and close to the case, have concluded that the conduct in question cannot be substantiated.”

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MLS has interviewed Falls at least twice, according to people familiar with the investigation, and has spoken to United’s Christian Benteke and Ravel Morrison, who are black. Both were on the field when the incident occurred. Several Miami players were also interviewed.

Fountains was not available for comment Monday, but a person who spoke to him said the player was “relieved and eager to get back.” Miami officials did not immediately comment.

MLS said it will review its policies and practices against allegations of abusive and discriminatory language.

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In a separate investigation, MLS announced that United had fined Rooney $25,000 for violating the league’s diversity hiring policy before hiring him in July. A first offense carries a fine of up to $50,000.

As part of revised guidelines instituted in December, teams are required to interview at least two candidates from underrepresented teams, including one black candidate, for technical staff jobs such as coach and general manager. (Prior rules mandated one candidate from each of those groups.)

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Starting with a shortlist of at least five candidates, United spoke to a black and Latino coach – both outsiders, someone close to the matter – but one of those talks could not be considered a “final pool” interview. ” said the league.

One candidate United said in a statement that they went through the same process as the others. However, the club added that he told team officials that he did not want the job, which started midway through the season.

“Aware of this, the club has turned its attention to the remaining finalists,” United said.

The league said, however, that United would be “obliged to bring an additional candidate from an unrepresented team into the “final pool” or request additional conditions from MLS that would not allow them to do so.”



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