Sebastian Coltescu: Fourth Official in PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir might be banned for 10 matches

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Sebastian Coltescu, the fourth official in the PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir match that allegedly used racially discriminatory word on Istanbul Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo might be banned from officiating at least, 10 European matches if found guilty of racial abuse.

On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, Sebastian Coltescu was the center of attraction in the PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir UEFA Champions League group match. In the 14th minute of the match, the Romanian referee allegedly called assistant coach Pierre Webo “black” which caused a series of pandemonium in Parc des Princes.

The alleged racial comment brought the match to a halt and the center-referee could not bring things under control despite giving coach Pierre Webo a red card. The distress continued until the teams walked into the locker room.

Later on, UEFA confirmed that an investigation into the incident has commenced and the match was postponed until today, December 9. New officials have been appointed to officiate the last Champions League group match. The postponed match will kick off at 17.55 GMT from the 14th minute and the new center-referee is Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands.

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Based on Tuesday’s incident, Sebastian Coltescu has breached Article 14 of UEFA’s latest edition of discipline measures and procedures which states that: “any person under the scope of Article 3 who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin color, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, incurs a suspension lasting at least 10 matches or a specified period, or any other appropriate sanction.”

This rule is not just applicable to UEFA match officials, it is also applicable to players, clubs, coaches, and any other stakeholder in the sport in Europe.

Who is Sebastian Coltescu?

Demba Ba confronting referee Sebastian Coltescu after he allegedly abused the club's assistant coach racially.
Istanbul Basaksehir’s Demba Ba confronting referee Sebastian Coltescu after he allegedly abused the club’s assistant coach racially.

Sebastian Coltescu is a 43-year-old Romanian referee who was born in Cariova, Romania. He has been in the business of refereeing since 1996. He became a four-star referee in 2006.

In 2007, the world football governing body, FIFA, had to relegate Sebastian Coltescu to the Romanian second division because of controversial decisions he made while refereeing. He suffered the demotion until 2008 before he regained promotion to elite refereeing.

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Recently, Jaime Sandoval of La Octava Sports revealed that Sebastian Coltescu had attempted suicide twice in his career as a referee, long before Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match.

The Romanian referee has enjoyed a mixed 2020-2021 season of refereeing despite managing just one Europa League match this season which was between Siroki Brijeg and Kairat Almaty in the first qualifying round of the competition.

He was also the fourth official in the Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid a week before he served in the same capacity in the postponed Champions League match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir.

Besides refereeing in senior club football, this season, Sebastian Coltescu has officiated in the UEFA Youth League match between Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray.

His dilemmas for this season started two weeks before he got involved in top European club football. He was reportedly involved in a series of controversies while officiating in a Romanian league match between Gaz Metan Medias and FCSB.

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“Coltescu’s entire career is full of dark moments,” said former Romanian referee Adrian Porumboiu.

“He may have talent, but he should dedicate himself to something else, like music or dance. In refereeing, he must remain impartial.

“A referee is allowed human errors, but not this amount. There is no game in which he does not intervene directly with the final result.”

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