Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara was allegedly subjected to a racist comment from a Minnesota United player during a recent game. Chara’s head coach Giovanni Savarese disclosed the incident but did not identify the alleged offending player or the specific comment that was made.
The incident occurred during the second half of the MLS Week 10 game between the Timbers and Minnesota at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, on June 26. MNUFC won the match 1-0.
The following day, MLS announced that it would conduct an investigation:
What happened in Portland?
The match broadcast showed Chara targeting a Minnesota player in the 64th minute, and broadcasters indicated that Chara had a conversation with referee Rosendo Mendoza. The images also showed Chara exchanging words with Franco Fragapane of the MNUFC.
Mendoza proceeded to consult with his fellow officers and then snuggled up with the team captains and Chara. Fragapane tried to join in that conversation, but his captain refused.
The game resumed three minutes after the interruption.
What was said after the game?
Savarese opened his post-match press conference with a statement about the incident in the 64th minute.
“I am very, extremely disappointed that we still have to deal with situations that shouldn’t be happening in any sport or anywhere anymore, things that are not acceptable. And in this game there was a situation that I had to do with a racist situation, a discriminatory word that has been said to one of our players that cannot take place anywhere, in any situation, in any sport, anywhere.
“So I’m extremely disappointed that we still have to deal with these kinds of situations in a game right now. And the referee should have handled the situation in a much better way. We all support Diego Chara, but what happened to him today? , the discriminatory word that was said should have no place anywhere at this time. And I am very disappointed that it was not taken as seriously as it should have been. The whole team, me, the whole The organization is with Diego Chara in this situation that happened today in the field ”.
“We all support Diego Chara. What happened to him today, the discriminatory word they told him, should have no place anywhere.”
– Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) June 27, 2021
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press reported that Minnesota manager Adrian Heath was not asked about the incident during his postgame press conference. The club issued a statement to Pioneer Press, saying Heath “spoke with the player and [the player] He says he didn’t say anything. “
How past incidents have been handled
In the past, there have been cases of racist abuse between players during first-rate football matches and disciplinary procedures have had different results.
Slavia Prague’s Czech defender Ondrej Kudela received a 10-game suspension from the European football governing body UEFA for “racist behavior” directed at Glasgow Rangers player Glen Kamara, who received a three-game suspension. games for an act of aggression post-match after their Europa League match. in March. Those bans were limited to European continental competitions.
La Liga, the premier league in Spain, I found no evidence to support Mouctar Diakhaby of Valencia claims that Juan Cala de Cádiz racially abused him in April. That investigation also involved lip-reading specialists. At the time of the incident, Diakhaby’s Valencia teammates left the pitch with him and 20 minutes later returned to the pitch without him to complete the match.
Players from both teams left the field last year during a December 2020 UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-German and Istanbul Basaksehir, but that incident was different. A member of the Istanbul coaching staff alleged that a member of the referee team referred to him as “the black one”. The match resumed a day later with a new group of referees and UEFA suspended the referee for “inappropriate conduct” and ordered him to “attend an educational program”.
The U.S. Soccer Federation found insufficient evidence following an investigation into an alleged incident of racial abuse by an opposing player towards then-LAFC forward Adama Diomande. The game in question was a US Open Cup quarter-final match in July 2018 between LAFC and the Portland Timbers. The game was played in its entirety and LAFC won 3-2.
LA Galaxy II, the reserve side of the LA Galaxy that plays in the second division USL, released Omar Ontiveros last September, who was found to have directed a racial slur at a black player at the San Diego Loyal. He was also suspended for six games by the USL. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but after the San Diego coaching staff learned of the post-game incident, the organization lost the point it earned in the tie.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.