The Champions League game that was abandoned to fight racism
On Tuesday, December 8th the Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain & Istanbul Basaksehir walked off the field in anger and solidarity after a racist slur was hurled at Istanbul’s assistant coach Pierre Webo. The away team refused to continue the match and Istanbul Basaksehir agreed. We have the full rundown of the match below.
After a terrible loss from Manchester United F.C. against RB Leipzig, it was up to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to beat Istanbul Basaksehir and move on to the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Unfortunately, the Champions League hit pause on the game when a racially-charged comment didn’t reach a resolution on the field.
According to ESPN, The Champions League game between PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) and Istanbul Basaksehir has been moved to Wednesday, 9th December after Tuesday’s game ended with both teams walking off the field. The Champions League have been taking the alleged racist offence very seriously and UEFA tweeted a “No to Racism” banner to show their support.
PSG players have also shown their support like Mbappe and Kimpembe standing beside their coach, Pierre Webo tweeting “SAY NO TO RACISM. M.WEBO WE ARE WITH YOU.”
The Istanbul Basaksehir players claimed the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu from Romania used a racial slur to describe their assistant coach, Pierre Webo. The Turkish squad’s coach was sent off with a red card by referee Ovidiu Hategon in the first fourteen minutes of the game.
During the match, Istanbul Basaksehir tweeted: “Our assistant coach, Pierre Webo has been sent off with a ‘racist’ word by the 4th official ref. of the match. Match has stopped for a while.” SkySports reported that PSG’s players Neymar & Kylian Mbappe stood beside Demba Ba as they protested against the disrespect shown to Pierre Webo.
UEFA attempted to offer a quick solution to the situation by removing the fourth official to the VAR assistant’s position. However, UEFA wanted to swap the VAR assistant with the fourth official and continue the match but according to ESPN, Istanbul Basaksehir wanted Sebastian Coltescu to be removed completely.
A video revealed Sebastian Coltescu getting called out by Pierre Webo’s substitute Demba Ba. In a video posted by The Guardian, Demba stated, “Why when you mention a guy you say ‘this guy’, why when you mention a black guy, do you have to say ‘this Black guy’?”
The French sport’s minister, Roxana Maracineanu applauded the team’s solidarity towards ending racism and tweeted, “Tonight, athletes took a historic decision in the face of an attitude they deemed unacceptable”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey agreed with the way the soccer players behaved and tweeted: “I strongly condemn the racist remarks made against Pierre Webo, member of the technical staff of Basaksehir, and I am convinced that UEFA will take the necessary measure.”
SkySports reported a powerful statement made by Paris Saint-Germain’s club. PSG believes that “all forms of racism go against the values held by Paris St. Germain and the club’s chairman, staff and players”.
Paris Saint-Germain continued: “For more than fifteen years Paris St. Germain has led the fight against discrimination and countinues to work to eradicate it in all forms. The capital club is to end all forms of violence and discrimination”.
UEFA confirmed the match would continue the next day at the thirteenth minute of the game without Tuesday’s match officials. ESPN reported the Champions League have brought a “disciplinary inspector to investigate the incident”. The investigation will also determine if Pierre Webo’s red card was justified and what will happen next for the Istanbul Basaksehir team going forward.
UEFA announced Danny Makkelie will be replacing Sebastian Coltescu as the official referee for Wednesday’s game alongside Mario Diks, Marcin Boniek and Bartosch Frankowski.
The Champion’s League game between Paris Saint-Germain & Istanbul Basaksehir kicked off on Wednesday at 12:55p.m ET and 5:55pm GMT. Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the game!