Inter Miami CF manager Phil Neville said he is "disappointed" by the results of Major League Soccer's investigation into allegations that D.C. United forward Taxi Fountas directed a racial slur at one of his players. Nevile added that the team is "in talks" to see if Miami can challenge the investigation's findings.
The league conducted the investigation following the Sept. 18 match between the two teams after Miami defender Aime Mabika said that Fountas directed a slur at Miami's Damion Lowe around the 59th minute. Fountas was substituted shortly thereafter and didn't play again for United for the remainder of the season.
Fountas later denied the allegations via his Instagram account.
MLS announced the results of the investigation on Oct. 31, stating that because it couldn't independently verify what Fountas said, no fine would be levied against the D.C. attacker. This was despite the fact that MLS found Mabika's allegations "credible."
That wasn't good enough for Neville.
"I trust my players," Neville said during a press conference to announce his contract extension with the club. "I feel as if racism is such an important topic and a subject that we can't hide away from, that we can't sweep under the table.
"I think we're past that now and I feel as if obviously at the time there was accusations made and I fully back my players. And I still to this day back my players, that the racism happened on that pitch."
"We are in talks at the moment to see if we can challenge the decision," Neville said.
A request for comment from MLS wasn't immediately successful, but a source with knowledge of the situation said that Inter Miami was having "informal conversations" about the results of the investigation and how best to proceed going forward.
When asked to clarify his remarks, and if the aftermath of the league's investigation was an ongoing situation, Neville said that the organization was going to take a strong stand against racism.
"The only thing I can say that's going to be ongoing is that Inter Miami, as a football club, are going to be really strong on issues like this," Neville said. "We're not going to shy away from issues like this. We're not going to sweep things under the carpet on issues like this because I think this is a societal problem.
"I think this is a problem throughout the whole world that you can't hide away from and that we have a zero tolerance level towards any kind of racism and that will be ongoing at Inter Miami Football Club."