MLS has levied fines on Inter Miami totaling over $2 million after the club was deemed to have violated roster rules.
Inter Miami's signings of Blaise Matuidi and Andres Reyes, as well as the underreporting of salaries for Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Nicolas Figal and Julian Carranza have put the club in hot water with the league.
The decision comes weeks after the league announced it would be investigating the club's 2020 roster compliance, with that investigation producing a historic fine for the second-year club.
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What's the punishment and why?
Inter Miami's punishments stem from the signings of Matuidi and Reyes, who were not characterized as Designated Players despite the fact that they should have been under MLS roster rules.
As a result, the club was over the maximum threshold of three DPs, with Gonzalo Higuain, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini occupying those slots.
Additionally, the club underreported salaries for Gonzalez Pirez, Figal and Carranza, although the league was sure to clarify that none of Inter Miami’s players were the subject of the investigation, committed any violation, nor were aware of the club's violations.
The club has been hit with a $2 million fine, while a $250,000 fine has been handed to Managing Owner Jorge Mas. Additionally, the league imposed a $2,271,250 reduction in allocation dollars for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
MLS determined that there was no wrongdoing on the part of Inter Miami owners Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son, Jose Mas, and David Beckham.
Paul McDonough, Inter Miami’s COO and Sporting Director last season, has been suspended through the end of the 2022 MLS season. McDonough had since been hired as vice president of soccer operations at Atlanta United, who announced shortly after the punishment was made public that the two sides had parted ways.
What did Garber have to say?
“The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct, and it is a fundamental principle of our league that our clubs are responsible for adhering to all league regulations,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“Our rules will not be compromised. These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami’s violations, should encourage complete cooperation by all parties in future investigations, and will serve as a deterrent for clubs from violating roster rules.”
What did Mas have to say?
"Inter Miami CF acknowledges that the Club violated Major League Soccer’s roster rules in our first season," Mas said in a statement.
"We have worked closely with MLS to address these issues and have made significant changes in our management structure. Following our inaugural season, we took a deep look at our soccer operations leadership group and made decisions that not only strengthened our internal roster compliance measures, but also better positioned us to build a sustainable, long-term competition strategy with the hiring of Chris Henderson as Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director in 2021.
"Inter Miami is an ambitious Club with big aspirations. We believe our fanbase, market and ownership group propel us to be one of North America’s most-followed fútbol teams in the world. We are committed to supporting our team and building a roster we are proud of."
The club has already redesignated Matuidi as a DP this season, as he officially joins Higuain and Pizarro as one of the club's three marquee players roster-wise.
Pellegrini, meanwhile, was the odd man out, with the club buying out his contract and loaning him to USL side Fort Lauderdale CF with the expectations of moving him on to a European or South American team in the future.
The club has earned eight points through their first seven games, currently sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Inter Miami will face D.C. United on Saturday at home before the club goes on break from June 3 to June 11 during FIFA's international window.