Champions League

PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir suspended over racist comments from fourth official

The teams left the pitch because of alleged racial abuse from the fourth official towards Istanbul Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webó.

Play suspended at PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir over racist comments from fourth official
FRANCK FIFE AFP

The Champions League match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended when both teams left the pitch in reaction to alleged racist abuse from the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu, towards Istanbul assistant coach Pierre Webó.

In principle the game was due to restart at 22:00 (CET), with the fourth official being swapped with someone in the VAR room, however the Istanbul Basaksehir players refused to return to the pitch unless the fourth official was immediately dismissed. The game will be played at 18:55 tomorrow, Wednesday, restarting in the 14th minute. A new refereeing team, from the Netherlands, will be in place.

Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu says the official's dialogue was as follows: 'The black one over there. Go and check who he is. The black one over there, it's not possible to act like that'.

According to Rosu, the chairman of the Romanian Anti-Discrimination Council said: "It's racism without any possibility of interpretation. He could have identified the player by so many other details and ignored his colour."

PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir leave pitch

Demba Ba was clearly enraged by what was said, and the images show the former Chelsea striker, who was on the bench, confronting the fourth official. PSG sporting director Leonardo came onto the pitch and also remonstrated with the officials. Eventually both teams left the pitch in solidarity.

In footage of the incident Demba Ba can be heard saying, “You never say ‘this white guy’, you say: ‘these guys.' So, listen to me, why when you mention a black guy do you have to say ‘this black guy?’” why the official said "this black guy."

The explanation from Sebastian Coltescu was that he had not used the term 'black' in an offensive manner, rather in the sense of 'the black guy', saying that the term 'black' in Romanian is not in itself offensive. These explanations did not convince the players.

According to Get French Football News the referee had asked the fourth official who on the bench was to get a red card. The fourth official replied "ala negru", "the black guy".

PSG player Kylian Mbappé has shown solidarity with Webó

UEFA statement

UEFA have released a statement over the incident:

“Following an alleged incident involving the 4th official, the match was temporarily suspended. After consultation with both teams, it was agreed that the match would restart with a different 4th official. Uefa will thoroughly investigate the matter and further communication will be made in due course."

Istanbul Basaksehir tweeted the following on their official account.

Champions League Group H

The game was still at 0-0 when the teams left the pitch. In the other game, at half-time, Leipzig were beating Manchester United 2-0. If these results are how things finish up, Leipzig and PSG would go through from Group H.