MLS Unable to Confirm Allegation of Racist Slur Directed at Timbers' Diego Chara

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2021

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara controls the ball during first half of the team's MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders in Portland, Ore., Sunday, May 9, 2021. The Sounders won 2-1. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
AP Photo/Steve Dykes

Major League Soccer released findings Monday from its investigation into an allegation of racist comments directed at Portland Timbers star Diego Chara by a Minnesota United player, with the league saying it was unable to confirm the allegation:

MLS Communications @MLS_PR

<a href="https://t.co/7FUcGxpNXV">pic.twitter.com/7FUcGxpNXV</a>

MLS said it interviewed the match official, players and reviewed tape but "could not corroborate or refute the allegation."

A June 26 match between the Timbers and Minnesota was stopped in the 65th minute as Portland players told game officials a Minnesota player had directed racist language at Chara. The match later resumed, with Minnesota winning 1-0. 

No action was taken on the field, leading to criticism from Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese.

“I am very, extremely disappointed that we have to deal with situations like this that should not happen in any sport,” Savarese told reporters. “There was a discriminatory word that was said to one of our players that cannot have any place in any sport, or anywhere.”

MLS did not identify the player who was investigated. However, United coach Adrian Heath publicly identified Franco Fragapane as the player last week.

"I'll repeat what I said: Fraga vehemently denies he did it and we believe him," Heath told reporters.