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Portland Timbers coach sounds off on alleged slur aimed at Diego Chara

Jun 26, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Minnesota United forward Juan Agudelo (21) and Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (21) battle for the ball during the second half at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Minnesota United forward Juan Agudelo (21) and Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (21) battle for the ball during the second half at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese is unhappy with how an alleged racist comment directed at Colombian midfielder Diego Chara was handled in a 1-0 loss to the Minnesota United on Saturday night.

The game was halted in the 65th minute as a referee met with Chara, Timbers captain Diego Valeri, United captain Michael Boxall and the United’s Wil Trapp, per the Pioneer Press.

The paper also reports that Minnesota’s Franco Fragapane was held back from the conference. Fragapane and Chara had clashed just before the stoppage.

No action was taken after the meeting and the game resumed.

Savarese spoke to reporters about the incident after the game.

“I am very and extremely disappointed that still at this time we have to deal with situations that should not be happening anymore or in any sport or anywhere,” said Savarese.

“It’s things that are not acceptable and in this game there was a situation that had to do with a racist situation. A discriminatory word that has been said to one of our players that cannot have any place in anywhere or in any situation or any sport, nowhere.

“So, I’m extremely disappointed that still at this time we have to deal with these kind of situations in a game. The referee should have handled this situation in a much better way.”

The MLS released the following statement Sunday on the alleged incident:

“Major League Soccer is aware of the alleged incident that occurred during the Portland Timbers and Minnesota United match last night. MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and we take these allegations very seriously. An investigation into this matter has already begun. Further information will be provided upon the completion of that investigation.”

The Minnesota United issued a statement a short time later on Sunday.

“Minnesota United is aware of accusations made about player behavior during last night’s game against the Portland Timbers,” the team wrote. “The team has been investigating the matter and the player involved in the reported incident has denied making any derogatory remarks.

“We will support the league in any investigation it chooses to make around the alleged event. MNUFC is built on inclusivity and respect, and does not tolerate discrimination under any circumstance.”

–Field Level Media