Former Preston North End midfielder Richard Chaplow has been banned for two games by the United Soccer League after using “offensive and abusive language”.
The punishment comes after United States international Robbie Rogers, who is gay, posted an account on his Facebook page about receiving homophobic abuse while playing for LA Galaxy II against Chaplow’s Orange County Blues.
On Monday Major League Soccer reacted, saying a joint investigation would take place alongside USL.
And Chaplow, whose former clubs include Burnley, West Brom, and Southampton, was sanctioned on Wednesday.
A USL statement read: “The United Soccer League has suspended Orange County Blues FC midfielder Richard Chaplow for two games and fined him an undisclosed amount for offensive and abusive language directed at another player during his team’s game against the LA Galaxy II on Aug. 20.
“The suspension was determined following the USL Disciplinary Committee’s investigation into the matter that included a video review, speaking with the referee, as well as players and staff from both teams.
“The USL has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” said Jake Edwards, President of the USL. “We cannot, nor will we, condone any language that is counter to the values we have instilled throughout the USL.”
Chaplow said:. “I swore several times at Rogers for overreacting to a foul, but at no time was the language homophobic and no evidence has been found of this,
“I have a close family member that is openly part of the LGBT community so to suggest I’m homophobic is ridiculous and there is no evidence to support this.”