MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Major League Soccer says it can neither “corroborate or refute” an allegation from Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese that a Minnesota United player made a racist comment to midfielder Diego Chara during a June 26 match.
MLS began investigating the allegation after Savarese’s postgame comments.
“We are all in support of Diego Chara. But what happened to him today, the discriminatory word that was said to him, should not have a place anywhere,” Savarese said.
Minnesota United also investigated the allegation, and said the player “denied making any derogatory remarks.”
“We will support the league in any investigation it chooses to make around the alleged event,” United’s statement read. “MNUFC is built on inclusivity and respect, and does not tolerate discrimination under any circumstance.”
Monday, MLS announced it had completed a “thorough review of the incident,” including interviews with officials and players and inspection of audio and video.
“While MLS found the allegation to be made in good faith, the League could not corroborate or refute the allegation,” the league’s statement read. “MLS will use this moment to reinforce its commitment, and the commitment of each of its Clubs, to an environment that is free from discrimination or harassment and treats all participants with respect and inclusivity.”
“We appreciate and fully supported the thorough investigation by MLS, whose findings mirror our own review of the situation,” Minnesota United said in a statement Monday. “Our club remains committed to spreading the values inherent in the unparalleled global sport of soccer throughout our broader community. We will continue the hard work necessary on our shared journey towards a truly inclusive and just society.”