Anderson calls on MLS to act
Former football administrator Don Anderson is calling for a comprehensive investigation into the alleged racial abuse of Jamaican Damion Lowe after the big defender was involved in an on-field scuffle with DC United's Taxi Fountas in their Major League Soccer (MLS) match in the United States of America (USA) on Sunday.
Anderson also wants MLS, organisers of the top football competition in the USA, to apply the appropriate sanctions to Fountas, should the investigation finds him in breach of the rules of the league.
"The investigation has to be very thorough and it has to be conducted by an independent set of adjudicators who are not connected to the club or the players in any way. So they can hear the evidence dispassionately.
"I would expect no more than a two or three-match suspension for that type of offence if it is a first offence and maybe stricter penalties if it occurs again," Anderson said.
The alleged racial slur was targeted at Lowe, who was playing for Inter Miami when the scuffle with Fountas happened in the 59th minute, as The Athletic reported that Lowe's teammate DeAndre Yedlin stated that the slur was used after the incident.
"Damion and another player got into a bit of a scuffle. As Damion walks away one of their guys called him the N-word," Yedlin said.
There was a pause for several minutes as Inter Miami players decided to discontinue the match unless action was taken. Fountas was substituted by DC United head coach Wayne Rooney in the 66th minute as DC United lost 3-2.
Fountas denied the allegations in a statement released yesterday on social media.
"That despicable racial slur is one I denounce and did not use. We had a hot discussion on the field but I have not racially abused anyone. I firmly reject racism in any form. It is despicable," he said in the release.
Additionally, in The Athletic report, head referee Ismail Elfath said that both players were issued yellow cards for "lack of respect of the game" before the alleged use of a slur was reported. Elfath stated that "no official heard any racist or abusive language", which was checked by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.
Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville denounced the incident, calling the racial comment the "worst word in the world" and condemned racism.
Anderson, who led the now defunct Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), said that it is unfortunate that Jamaican players have been recent targets of abuse and says that while DC United can discipline the player internally if found guilty, they should be guided by the league's direction.
It is the second time in two months that a national player has been involved in alleged racial abuse. National senior women's midfielder Trudi Carter was subjected to alleged racial abuse online during the Concacaf Women's Championships in July.