WAYNE ROONEY has been praised by former Manchester United teammate Phil Neville after substituting a player accused of making a racist slur.
DC United, manager by Rooney, lost 3-2 to Neville’s Inter Miami in a thrilling MLS game at the weekend.
But the match was overshadowed by a 59th minute incident between DC’s Taxiarchis Fountas and Inter’s Damion Lowe.
A heated clash between the pair saw referee Ismail Elfath end up in discussion with both team captains, as well as United legends Rooney and Neville.
A delay of several minutes then saw Fountas hauled off by Wazza.
And Miami star DeAndre Yedlin later accused DC’s Fountas of calling Lowe “the n-word.”
The visitors then refused to play until “something was done with that player”.
Yedlin said: “Damion and another player got into a bit of a scuffle – as Damion walks away, one of their guys called him the n-word.”
Inter boss Neville has now hailed Rooney for taking action, saying: “There was a racist comment that was unacceptable. A word was used that I think is unacceptable in society.
“I think it’s the worst word in the world. There is no place at all for racism on a football field or society.
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“I must commend my players for keeping their calm, I must commend the referee – [in] 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.”
Rooney himself confirmed an incident, adding: “There was a complaint, which I’m sure will get investigated. Not much more I can say.”
Meanwhile, a statement from the MLS 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. Further information will be provided upon completion of that investigation.”
And a DC United statement added: “D.C. United are aware of the allegations involving a player during the match against Inter Miami CF.
“The club will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.”