Tuesday’s Champions League meeting between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was plunged into chaos when the Turkish side stormed off the field early in the first half, alleging that the club’s assistant coach had been racially abused by the fourth official.
After both PSG and Basaksehir walked off the pitch, the match was eventually postponed and set to resume on Wednesday from the 14th minute, with the score at 0-0.
In a statement, UEFA said the game would resume with new match officials.
“Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Istanbul Basaksehir FK, UEFA has – after discussion with both clubs – decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played tomorrow with a new team of match officials. The kick-off has been set at 18:55 CET,” UEFA said.
Just 15 minutes into Tuesday’s match at Parc des Princes, the game was thrown into turmoil after a pitchside altercation.
Basaksehir’s Pierre Webo, an ex-Cameroon international striker, was involved in a furious exchange with the fourth official, who had instructed the referee to send Webo off after he protested a call on the pitch.
Webo and his club accused the fourth official of racial abuse in how he identified the Basaksehir assistant to the match referee.
“In the Paris Saint Germain match, our footballers decided not to go on the field due to the racism that the fourth referee Sebastian Coltescu had against our assistant coach Pierre Webo,” the Turkish side explained.
Veteran forward Demba Ba, who started on the bench for the visitors on Tuesday, was also seen remonstrating with the official over his use of language, telling him: “You never say, ‘This white guy, that white guy.’
“But when it’s a black guy, you have to say, ‘This black guy’.”
Basaksehir’s players indeed refused to continue playing, and after a short spell inactive on the pitch decided to retreat to the dressing rooms in protest.
PSG’s stars followed suit in solidarity with their rivals, leaving the Champions League clash in limbo.
UEFA released a statement on the incident, saying: “UEFA is aware of an incident during tonight’s Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir and will be conducting a thorough investigation. Racism, and discrimination in all its forms, has no place within football.”
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