Major League Soccer has suspended New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzer for six matches for racist language in the team’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. The league said in a statement that.
“The league also imposed an unnamed fine and will require Vanzer to participate in additional league-mandated workouts and a rehabilitative training program.”
The incident in question took place in the 54th minute of the Red Bulls’ 1-1 draw with the Quakes, when Vanzeer said something to Jeremy Ebob that provoked an angry reaction from the San Jose forward, who claimed that the player had used a racial slur directed at him. Ebobi, who is black, did not name the player.
The length of the ban is the longest such ban for a language offence in MLS history.
On Monday, both the Red Bulls and Vanzer Ebobis apologised to the Red Bulls organisation and the Earthquakes, and a day later the club announced that the 24-year-old Belgian would leave the team pending an MLS investigation to avoid further embarrassment.
In a statement released on Monday, Vanzer said: “He said. I will do everything I can to be part of the change that is needed in this sport and in our world. I also want to apologise to my teammates, coaches, the organisation and our fans. I made a mistake and I will do everything I can to change.”
Wanzer missed Saturday’s game, which featured a goal in the 21st minute, and team manager Gerhard Strober regretted that he did not act earlier to replace the 24-year-old.
“In Saturday’s game I made the decision that I thought was the best one given the information available at the time,” said Strouber. “Although there was a lot of uncertainty at the time, based on the information we have now, the right decision would have been to withdraw Dante Wanser from the game immediately.” Strouber has not been sanctioned or suspended for his actions.
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