PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir suspended due to racism claims


    The UEFA Champions League group H match between Paris Saint Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir has been suspended due to racism claims.

    The match which was scheduled to go simultaneously with the Manchester United Champions League match against RB Leipzig had to be put on hold as PSG’s players joined Istanbul Basaksehir’s players in the locker room after an official of Istanbul Basaksehir claimed that he was racially abused.

    The incident was between the fourth official of the match, Sebastian Coltescu, and an assistant coach of Istanbul Basaksehir, Pierre Webo. The assistant referee allegedly used a racially discriminatory word on the assistant coach. He reportedly called the assistant coach “negru” which means “black” in Romania.

    Istanbul Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo protesting for being called the "N" word.
    Istanbul Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo protesting for being called the “N” word.

    Based on the footage from the live match, the assistant coach was seen protesting against the fourth official on the sideline while the players were in action on the pitch. His protest had to force the centre-referee to halt the match and walked to Istanbul Basaksehir’s bench to show a yellow card to Pierre Webo.

    Pierre Webo was still protesting against the assistant referee while some officials of Istanbul Basaksehir tried to calm him down. Their effort could not calm him which left the center-referee with no choice but to give him a red card in the 14th minute of the Champions League match.

    Former Chelsea forward who now plays for Istanbul Basaksehir was one of the star players that led the visitors at Parc des Princes to walk off the pitch after minutes of discussion. The footballer was heard saying: “You never say: “This white guy.” Why when you mention a black guy, you have to say this black guy.”

    In solidarity with Istanbul Basaksehir, PSG’s Neymar and Kylian Mbappe led the host team to a series of discussions with the officials at the Parc des Princes before they also walked off the pitch in what looks like they agreed that Pierre Webo was racially abused by the assistant referee.

    “After a red card is given by the referee to a member of opposition staff, discussions continue between players and staff of both teams with the referee,” PSG said on Twitter.

    “The Basaksehir players decide to go back to the locker room, the Parisians follow them.”

    PSG also retweeted a tweet Istanbul Basaksehir shared after the incident to say no to racism.

    As it stands, if the match fails to continue or UEFA decides to cancel the match outrightly, RB Leipzig and PSG will scale through to the second round of the UEFA Champions League campaign. This is so because, at the time of publishing this report, RB Leipzig was leading Manchester United 3-0 which means that the German club is leading the Group H table with 12 points while PSG is second with 10 points.

    Meanwhile, Omar Altundag, a journalist based in Paris, France, tweeted that the postponed PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir UEFA Champions League group H match will take place at 19:00 local time on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.


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