Major League Soccer

Portland Timbers & Minnesota United clash halted following accusations of racist abuse

Max Cooper
Chara was allegedly racially abused by a Minnesota player
Chara was allegedly racially abused by a Minnesota player / Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Portland Timbers' MLS clash with Minnesota United was temporarily halted on Saturday evening, after Timbers' Diego Chara allegedly suffered racist abuse at the hands of an opposition player.

The incident occurred in the 65th minute, when Portland players brought it to the attention of the officials that their teammate had been subjected to a racist taunt, resulting in the referee temporarily stopping the play.

The officials spoke at length with the Timbers stars, but no action was taken, and the game continued. Portland coach Giovanni Savarese was furious over the officials' handling of the situation, and stated he was 'extremely disappointed' that the incident happened.

“I am very, extremely disappointed that we have to deal with situations like this that should not happen in any sport,” Savarese said. “There was a discriminatory word that was said to one of our players that cannot have any place in any sport, or anywhere.

“The referee should have handled this situation in a much better way. We are all in support of Diego Chara. I was very disappointed that it was not taken as serious as it should have been. So the team, myself, the whole organization, is with Diego Chara in this situation that has happened on the field today.”

Minnesota United have spoken with the player believed to have thrown the slur, and 'he says he didn't say anything'. The club has also chosen to withhold the identity of the player in question.

Portland Timbers lost the game 1-0 on Saturday night, after Adrien Hunou scored the winning goal inside the opening two minutes. The hosts pushed to draw level, but couldn't quite find the killer touch to peg Minnesota back.

Minnesota move above Portland in the Western Conference, sitting in fifth place with the Timbers in seventh.