DC United’s Taxi Fountas denies racially abusing Damion Lowe of Inter Miami

DC United’s Taxi Fountas denies racially abusing Damion Lowe in the MLS game with Inter Miami on Sunday night and says he is ‘very upset and saddened’ by the accusation in a statement posted on Instagram

DC United player Taxi Fountas has taken to Instagram to deny accusations that he racially abused Inter Miami’s Damion Lowe in the MLS game on Sunday night.

MLS officials are investigating the allegations and Miami coach Phil Neville said that ‘the worst word in the world’ was used against Lowe.

Fountas wrote in a statement on Monday: ‘I did not use the word I am being accused of using. 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. 

‘I have many friends from many cultures. I always respect the culture, religion and skin color of each person. 

‘I am therefore very upset by this accusation and saddened to be falsely accused.’

The MLS have opened an investigation into claims DC United forward Taxi Fountas called Inter Miami’s Damian Lowe the n-word

The ugly altercation between the pair took place in the 62nd minute of the MLS fixture

The ugly altercation between the pair took place in the 62nd minute of the MLS fixture

The ugly altercation between the pair took place in the 62nd minute of the MLS fixture, with the duo pushing and shoving each other after Jamaica international Lowe was unhappy with the Greek’s challenge. 

Lowe shouted back at Fountas after the alleged slur was used, and referee Ismail Elfath then stopped play to speak to both captains. 

It then took an even more sinister turn in the following four minutes as former Manchester United team-mates Wayne Rooney – the DC coach – and Neville convened on the sidelines to speak with the official.

Neville then summoned his Inter Miami players to discuss whether they should continue playing as both players were subsequently booked.

Tensions remained high between the pair and they had to be separated for a second time, and after a five-minute stoppage play eventually resumed.

DC United boss Rooney then decided to take Fountas – who a few minutes earlier had made it 2-2 – off the next time the ball went out of a play, with the 27-year-old replaced by Miguel Berry.

Coach Neville said in his post-match press conference: ‘It was a racist comment that is unacceptable. The word that was used is unacceptable in society and is the worst word in the world.

‘There is no place at all for racism on the football field. The owners 100 per cent agree. I must commend my players for keeping their calm.

‘I must commend the referee for a really difficult situation. He followed the protocols set out by the MLS, and I must give massive respect to Wayne Rooney for dealing with it the way that he did.

‘I have always known him as a class act. He went up more in my estimations that for any goal he has ever scored. Players were hurt and disappointed.

‘I called the players over because in my previous job with England we have had lots of experiences in certain countries of racism.

‘I am quite briefed on how to handle these situations. I don’t think I have ever been as proud of my players as I was tonight.’

Inter Miami defender DeAndre Yedlin meanwhile confirmed the players were ready to leave the field following the on-field meeting with Neville, and said their win did not feel like one despite Gonzalo Higuain’s 94th-minute winner.

‘If nothing was done, we weren’t going to continue,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day it doesn’t even feel like a win because of that incredibly dark moment.’


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