Players of Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir walked off the pitch during the first half of their Champions League game after a match official allegedly made a racist remark about a member of the Turkish club’s coaching staff.
The Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu was identifying Basaksehir assistant Pierre Webo, the former Cameroon striker, to the referee when the alleged comment was made. Coltescu was speaking Romanian, with TV footage showing him saying: “The black one over there. Go and check who he is. The black one over there, it’s not possible to act like that,” after Webo had vehemently protested against a refereeing decision.
Webo reacted angrily, shouting at Coltescu: “Why did you say negro?”
The game stopped as an argument broke out on the touchline at the Parc des Princes. Basaksehir’s substitute forward Demba Ba was heard saying to Coltescu: “You never this say ‘this white guy’, you say ‘this guy’, so why when you mention… listen to me… so why when you mention a black guy [do] you have to say ‘this black guy’?”
TV footage also showed PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe saying: “Is he serious? We are heading in. We’re heading in. That’s it, we’re heading in.”
The Basaksehir players walked away down the tunnel and their opponents followed. Istanbul Basaksehir tweeted: “Our assistant coach, Pierre Webo has been sent off with a ‘racist’ word by the 4th official ref. of the match. Match has stopped for a while.”
Later, it was reported that Ba and PSG captain Marquinhos agreed that the players would return to the pitch hand in hand, but some on Basaksehir’s side were not happy to play on and the game, which was 0-0, was instead suspended until Wednesday.
The match will continue at 5.55pm GMT and will pick up from the 14th minute, which was when the incident occurred.
Uefa said: “Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Istanbul Basaksehir FK, UEFA has – after discussion with both clubs – decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played tomorrow with a new team of match officials. The kick-off has been set at 18:55 CET.
“A thorough investigation on the incident that took place will be opened immediately.”
Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter he believed Uefa would take the necessary steps. “We are unconditionally against racism and discrimination in sports and in all areas of life,” he wrote.
Basaksehir posted Uefa’s ‘No to Racism’ banner on Twitter, a post that was retweeted by PSG on their own official account.
Source: The independent