December 9 – UEFA have opened a disciplinary investigation into the disturbing scenes that marred Tuesday night’s Champions League fixture between Paris St Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir, abandoned after both teams walked off in protest at alleged racism, the first time that has happened in Europe’s elite club competition.
The incident, which made worldwide headlines and prompted widespread condemnation, occurred after the Turkish visitors accused a match official of racism.
UEFA said it had appointed an Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector to “conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding the incident”.
According to most reports, Basaksehir alleged that the fourth official Sebastian Coltescu used a racist term towards their Cameroonian assistant coach Pierre Webo after he was shown a red card for protesting against a refereeing decision. The referee, his two assistants and Coltescu were all from Romania.
In the exchange in question, heard on television and translated by a journalist from AFP, Coltescu allegedly said: “The black one over there. This is not possible. Go and identify him. That guy, the black one.”
Basaksehir’s Senegalese international striker Demba Ba, among the substitutes, could also be clearly heard on television saying in English: “When you mention a white guy, you never say ‘this white guy’, you just say ‘this guy,’ so why when you mention a black guy do you say ‘this black guy?’”
In an unprecedented move, the game, halted in the 14th minute with the players walking off around 10 minutes later, will be completed tonight after the Turkish champions refused to restart the original fixture as long as Coltescu was still involved.
“The fourth official used the word ‘negro’ in front of everybody. If the fourth official is removed from the pitch, then we will restart,” Basaksehir president Göksel Gümüsdag told Turkish television channel TRT Spor at the time.
Normally any team refusing to play must forfeit the game and also face a fine of €250,000. But UEFA said it had “decided on an exceptional basis – after discussion with both clubs – to have the remaining minutes of the match played with a new team of match officials.”
Danny Makkelie of the Netherlands was named as the referee to take over the remainder of the game, with the rest of his team of officials coming from the Netherlands and Poland.
PSG have already qualified for the knockout stage with Basaksehir, already eliminated, playing for pride.
PSG also condemned the alleged remark tweeting their support for their opponents.
“All forms of racism go against the values held by Paris Saint-Germain, the club’s chairman, staff and players,” the French champions said.
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