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Don Garber on Blaise Matuidi investigation: “There will be no shortage of transparency”

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sanctions are coming for Inter Miami, and they are coming this week.

That was one message that MLS commissioner Don Garber delivered Sunday afternoon inside of Drv Pnk Stadium. Garber spoke to media about a number of topics at halftime of Inter Miami’s 3-2 loss to the LA Galaxy, including the ongoing investigation into the South Florida side’s 2020 signing of midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

The league announced last Friday that it found Inter Miami had broken roster and budget rules last season by listing Matuidi as a Target Allocation Money (TAM) player. He should have counted, according to MLS, as a Designated Player because his compensation was above the TAM threshold.

Therefore, Inter Miami unofficially played with four DPs last year, which is against MLS regulations and will lead to a punishment of some sort that is expected to be handed down to the team “this week.”

“We are continuing over the next couple of days the final throes of our investigation and there will be sanctions,” said Garber. “The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct and it does not matter what market you are in or who owns your team or who is running your team or who your general manager is or how difficult it might be to get through the year. You have got to play by the same rules.”

Garber was pressed on the topic — including being asked whether Matuidi’s extra compensation was on or off the league’s books or if former Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough was being investigated — but the commissioner refrained from going into specifics. He did, however, promise that MLS would be open about the investigation after it is concluded.

“When we announce what we are going to announce there will be no shortage of exposure and transparency to what it is that we are going to do,” said Garber. “These types of things are not black and white. They are not simple. We went through the first investigation like this with the level of detail that we needed to go through.

“We are going to announce our findings and when we announce our findings then everybody can ask plenty of questions.”

Comments

  1. what do you need to “investigate?” it’s an abstract roster rules issue.
    you don’t need to know about the GM’s childhood. they’ve already been found guilty. they already manipulated last season. you either come down like bricks or not.

    maybe the idea is identify exactly who did this. you don’t have to. the team earns a harsh points punishment and the leading people on the org chart on the soccer side get a suspension without pay. 15 minutes to type up the press release. the more time you spend looking down rabbit holes for precisely who made a decision, you’re playing their game. you should instead punish the sort of people who should be responsible for this, giving no ability to buck pass. the league expects the head of soccer and the GM to mind the rules and act ethically. the league suspends them without pay half a season. period. any dithering or softness on this just encourages the next evader.

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