PSG-Istanbul: fourth official Sebastian Coltescu speaks after racism scandal
The fourth official accused of racism during ther PSG-Istanbul game has reportedly told relatives "I'm not a racist!" following the incident that caused the match to be suspended.
Sebastian Coltescu, the fourth official caught up in the racism scandal following the suspension of the match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir in Paris on Tuesday night, has reportedly spoken to relatives following the incident. And the comments have been picked up by Romanian outlet ProSport.
Both the PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir players walked off the pitch after Istanbul substitute Demba Ba confronted the fourth official for referring to Istanbul assistant coach Pierre Webó as “the black one”.
According to Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu, Coltescu’s exact words were 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”.
Coletscu: "I'm not a racist"
The explanation from 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, who proceeded to walk off the pitch, forcing the game to be suspended.
Following the controversy, outlet ProSport claims to have picked up comments of Coltescu made during a call with relatives to explain his version of events.
“I'm just trying to be good. I'm not going to read any press website these days. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a racist! At least, I hope so,” Coltescu said, according to ProSport.
PSG-Istanbul match referee refuses to comment on racist incident
Ovidiu Hategan, the PSG-Istanbul game’s main referee, was contacted by the French outlet europe1.fr and claimed to be “devastated” by what happened, although he refused to make any further comments.
“We cannot make any statement. We must first speak to UEFA. Normally, I would answer you, but tonight I cannot. Obviously, we are devastated, but please respect our silence and understand the situation," said the main match official.
For its part, the Romanian Football Federation has said that it is waiting for the UEFA report before making any decisions regarding the incident.
As it stands, the match between PSG and Istanbul will be restarted at 18.55 (CET) this Wednesday, 9 December, with the game to be overseen by a different set of match officials led by Dutch referee Danny Makkelie.