UEFA bans Referee Sebastian Coltescu after a racism allegation against him

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Sebastian Coltescu will no longer officiate in UEFA Champions League matches for the rest of the 2020-2021 season due to the racism allegation he suffered in the Champions League match between Paris Saint Germain and Istanbul Basaksehi.

According to a statement the UEFA football governing body issued on Monday, Sebastian Coltescu was suspended for the rest of the season due to his “inappropriate behavior during a UEFA match for which he was appointed”.

Recall that Sebastian Coltescu made headlines on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, when he allegedly referred to Istanbul Basaksehir’s assistant coach Pierre Webo as a “black” in Romanian. The utterance the Romanian referee allegedly made on the sidelines of the Champions League group stage match in which he acted as a fourth official forced the match to a halt.

The victim of the alleged racial comment Pierre Webo who is a retired Cameroonian international agitated against the racially motivated comment until he caused a huge brawl in Parc des Prince, where the match took place. Due to that, the match center-referee had to give the assistant coach a red card, yet, the red card couldn’t stop the brawl.

Pierre Webo
Pierre Webo.

After minutes of back and forth, the match had to be canceled and later postponed to December 9, 2020. Also, UEFA revised the red card slammed on Pierre Webo and announced that investigation into the racism allegation had commenced. Afterward, the match took place as planned and PSG won 5-1.

Referee Sebastian Coltescu.
Referee Sebastian Coltescu.

Before then, referee Sebastian Coltescu had taken to social media to apologize for allegedly abusing assistant coach Pierre Webo. “Racism was never my intention”, the referee tweeted.

“In such an environment, people sometimes cannot properly express their feelings and can be misunderstood. I apologize in the name of the UEFA Champions League.”

Yet, his apologies could not convince UEFA against taking action against him. He was punished for breaching Article 11 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations. The Article states that member associations, clubs, and players must “comply with the principles of ethical conduct, loyalty, integrity, and sportsmanship”.

In a statement issued by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, to announce the suspension of Sebastian Coltescu, the UEFA’s disciplinary body said it has decided: “To suspend Mr Sebastian Constantin Coltescu from carrying out any referee’s function until the end of the 2020/21 season, i.e. until 30 June 2021, for the violation of Article 11(1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA Matches (GTC), i.e. for behavioral behavior during a UEFA match for which he was appointed.

“To order Mr Sebastian Constantin Coltescu to attend an educational programme before 30 June 2021 under the conditions determined by the UEFA refereeing services.”