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W. Rooney

Neville: 'Massive, massive respect' for Rooney for handling of racist abuse allegations in MLS match

11:11 AM EDT 9/19/22
Phil Neville Wayne Rooney MLS GFX
Phil Neville praised Wayne Rooney for how he dealt with alleged racist abuse from his player in the match between DC United and Inter Miami on Sunday.
  • Fountas accused of racially abusing Lowe
  • Rooney substituted Fountas after discussing with referee
  • Neville praised former teammate for decision

WHAT HAPPENED? During the second half of Inter Miami's win against DC United, Taxi Fountas was accused of directing a racial slur at Damion Lowe. After a discussion between both managers and the referee, Rooney made the choice to substitute his forward, a decision his opposite number praised after the match.

WHAT HE SAID: "I must commend my players for keeping their calm," said Neville. "I must commend the referee – a really difficult situation he followed the protocols set out by the MLS – and 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."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rooney and Neville spent time as teammates at Manchester United and for England during their playing careers and locked horns on a number of occasions as opponents. Sunday's fixture was the first time the two have met as managers with Neville coming out on top in the 3-2 victory.

STORY IN A PHOTO:

WHAT NEXT FOR THE MANAGERS? After the MLS claimed it will take the allegations against Fountas 'very seriously', there will likely be an investigation into the incident. The player in question will then have to wait for the outcome to determine whether he will receive a ban and/or a fine.