On the cusp of the start of the season, MLS has just dropped a bomb on Inter Miami.
Major League Soccer announced on Friday evening that its investigation into Inter Miami’s signing of Blaise Matuidi has resulted in MLS finding that the South Florida side was not in compliance with roster and budget rules in 2020.
Matuidi signed with Inter Miami as a free agent last September and was classified as a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) player, but MLS has concluded that the central midfielder should have been a Designated Player because his compensation was above the TAM limit.
Essentially, Inter Miami was found to have unofficially played with four DPs last season and therefore violated the limit of three maximum per team. The other three DPs on the squad were Gonzalo Higuain, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Matias Pellegrini.
Additionally and on a related note, MLS announced Friday that Inter Miami has agreed to an offseason buyout with Pellegrini in order to be roster compliant this year. Pellegrini has been loaned to USL League One side Fort Lauderdale CF and is not eligible to compete in Inter Miami’s 2021 season.
MLS is still in the process of finalizing the Matuidi investigation and is planning to announce the full results and sanctions in the near future.
This unprecedented development comes two days before Inter Miami is set to start its sophomore season at home against the LA Galaxy. Matuidi, who has been given a DP designation this year, is eligible to play in that Sunday affair at Drv Pnk Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.