CARY, N.C. -- West Ham United F.C. walked off the field during a match in The Soccer Tournament on Thursday, alleging a Dallas United player used a racial slur.
After an investigation into the incident, the organization of the inaugural 7-on-7, million-dollar tournament announced the withdrawal of Dallas United from the event.
The allegation was made by former pro Anton Ferdinand, who is one of several former West Ham players that made the trip to the United States to represent the club. It is unclear which player on Dallas United -- a collection of mostly amateur players from the Dallas area -- is said to be responsible.
"After conducting an investigation into the final moments of the match between West Ham United and Dallas United, we have concluded that Dallas United violated TST's code of conduct," TST said in a statement. "We have been in dialogue with leadership from both clubs and we are all aligned that the best path forward is Dallas United withdrawing from competition.
"All parties involved are unified in wanting to make a statement against racial insensitivity. We seek to run an event that is not only fiercely high stakes for all competitors, but also one in which all competitors feel safe and protected."
Dallas United said in a statement the players "unanimously decided" to withdraw from the competition "in light of the shadow cast by an opposing player's accusation during tonight's match."
The referee in charge of the match told players he did not hear what was said, therefore was unsure what the proper course of action should have been. The stoppage came near the end of regulation with Dallas leading, 2-0. After a lengthy delay, West Ham players made their way off the field.
Asked what happened on his way off the field, Ferdinand told media members "racism," but did not elaborate. It's unclear what ramifications the incident will have on West Ham's continued participation in the tournament -- they are scheduled to play their third game Friday morning -- or on the result of the match.