Neville praises former Manchester United and England team-mate Rooney for decisive action on racism

‘I have always known him as a class act and today he went up in my estimation’: Phil Neville praises former Man United team-mate Wayne Rooney for his decisive action after one of his DC United players allegedly racially abused Inter Miami opponent

  • Phil Neville hailed his former team-mate for action he took after alleged incident
  • Damion Lowe accused the Taxi Fountas of racism in game between two sides
  • The game was halted until Rooney substituted Fountas which Neville praised 

Wayne Rooney has been hailed by former England team-mate Phil Neville for his handling of an alleged incident of racism that threatened to halt an MLS match between their teams.

The game between DC United, managed by Rooney, and Neville’s Inter Miami — owned by David Beckham — was interrupted when United forward Taxi Fountas was accused of racially abusing Inter defender Damion Lowe.

After Rooney and Neville, who played for Manchester United together as well as at international level, had held talks with referee Ismail Elfath, Rooney substituted Fountas and the action resumed.

‘There was a racist comment that was unacceptable,’ said Neville.

‘A word was used that I think is unacceptable in society. I think it’s the worst word in the world.

‘I must give massive, massive respect to Wayne Rooney for dealing with it in the way that he did. I have always known him as a class act and today he went up in my estimation more than he has ever done, more than any goal he has ever scored.’

DC United boss Wayne Rooney decided to take Taxi Fountas off the next time the ball went out

DC United boss Wayne Rooney decided to take Taxi Fountas off the next time the ball went out 

Shortly before the hour mark, Fountas was involved in a skirmish with Lowe, which is when the alleged incident took place.

Miami players had discussed leaving the pitch before Rooney and Neville intervened.

‘If nothing had been done, we weren’t going to continue,’ confirmed Miami’s DeAndre Yedlin, once of Tottenham and Newcastle. The MLS are investigating the matter.

Phil Neville said he 'gained more respect' for Rooney 'than for any goal he had scored'

Phil Neville said he ‘gained more respect’ for Rooney ‘than for any goal he had scored’

Neither Elfath nor the other officials are thought to have heard the alleged remark, while the events under scrutiny were also checked by VAR.

An MLS spokesman said: ‘MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and we take these allegations very seriously. An investigation into this matter will begin promptly.

A DC United statement added: ‘DC United are aware of the allegations involving a player during the match against Inter Miami. The club will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.’

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

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

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