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Atlanta United’s Santiago Sosa banned for homophobic slur

Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa has been given a three-match suspension after being found guilty of aiming a homophobic slur at an opponent

Roddy Cons
Update:
MLS suspende al argentino Santiago Sosa por insulto homofóbico
Getty Images

Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa’s season is over after he was hit by a three-match ban by Major League Soccer. The Argentinian was found guilty of using a homophobic slur towards an opponent during his team’s match against New England Revolution on 1 October.

With The Five Stripes unable to reach the MLS Cup playoffs, their season ends against New York City FC on Sunday. Not only will Sosa be forced to sit out that clash, he will also miss the first two matches of the 2023 campaign. And in addition to serving an on-field suspension, the former River Plate man will also have to pay an undisclosed fine and attend LGBTQ+ Allyship training.

An Atlanta United club statement read:

“Atlanta United is aware of Santiago Sosa’s use of offensive language during last week’s match. The club does not condone the use of harmful or disrespectful language towards any person.

Santiago is extremely remorseful and personally apologized to the New England Revolution player. He has also requested additional resources from Major League Soccer’s Players Association to grow from this incident.

“The club will ensure this moment serves as an opportunity to reaffirm Atlanta United’s deeply held values of inclusion, respect and unity to all of our players and staff.”

The news rounds off a disappointing year for Atlanta, who can finish no higher than ninth in the Eastern Conference this term. The club reached the MLS playoffs in four of the previous five seasons and won the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

23-year-old Sosa, who has represented Argentina at Under 20 level, joined the club from River Plate in February 2021 and has been a regular starter for Atlanta in midfield in his two seasons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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