New York (AFP) - Dutchman Ron Jans has resigned his position as manager of MLS side FC Cincinnati in the wake of a league investigation into an alleged racist remark, the club announced Tuesday.
Jans departs only 12 days before the team opens its 2020 campaign March 1 at the New York Red Bulls.
FC Cincinnati said the 61-year-old former manager of such Dutch clubs as Groningen and Zwolle was leaving as an MLS investigation was progressing after an MLS Players Association complaint of "extremely inappropriate comments."
"As Major League Soccer's investigation unfolded and some themes emerged, Ron offered his resignation and we agreed that it was the best course of action for everyone involved with FC Cincinnati," club president Jeff Berding said in a statement.
"We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted.
"Racial and cultural diversity is a major part of what makes the game of soccer so special, and we place the highest priority on respecting every person involved in our game. This includes absolutely everyone associated with our club, from our locker room and front office, all the way through to our fans."
Jans, who stepped away from his coaching duties on Friday, went 1-5 with four drawn last year for FC Cincinnati after taking over the team last August following the firing of Alan Koch as manager last May.
Yoann Damet, who served as an interim manager last year before Jans was hired, will again serve as an interim head coach while FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp conducts a global search for a new coach.