The UEFA Champions League soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul in Basaksehir was halted on Tuesday, after the two teams accused the match official of having racially insulted a black assistant coach.
The match in Paris – a crucial match in the European Championship – was halted after just 14 minutes when Sebastian Kultesco, fourth Romanian referee, called referee Ovidio Hattigan to the touchline. It was not immediately clear the reason for the request.
When Hatigan approached the team’s bench, it appeared that Koltisco was requesting that Pierre Wibo, the former Cameroonian international now working as the assistant coach of the Turkish team, be fired from the match.
Reports in Romania, and The sound of the accident, Suggested that Koltisco informed Hategan that a member of the Basaksehir training team – Weibo – should be fired, and referred to him as “that black person”.
Basaksehir players immediately protested against Hatigan. Then Demba Ba, the veteran Senegalese striker, approached Koltisco and asked him, “Why when you mention a black man, you have to say, ‘This black man’?”
“You wouldn’t say ‘these white men’, ‘” said Ba, pointing his finger. “You could say these men.”
Koltisco’s role as fourth referee includes overseeing training areas and seats and handling player substitutions. As Ba protested inches away from his face, it seemed that he – or any other member of the all-Roman referee unit – was defending the choice of words as a matter of language rather than intent.
After several minutes of discussion, the Başakşehir players decided to leave the stadium, and their PSG counterparts followed quickly, and as soon as he left the stadium, two hats could be heard on the TV broadcast microphones insisting that the protocol for dealing with the problem – whether to restart the game – “It wasn’t up to me.”
UEFA, the governing body for European football and the organizer of the competition, has tentatively planned to resume the game at 10 pm local time, after a 45-minute delay, with Koltisco replacing the referee serving as an on-site video assistant.
It was reported that the PSG players are ready to continue playing – until returning to the tunnel to make their way to the stadium – but Basaksehir confirmed in Twitter His players refused to do so “because of the racism of the fourth referee, Sebastian Koltisco, against our assistant coach, Pierre Webo.”
Paris Saint-Germain too Publicly confirmed The “racist remarks from the fourth referee” prompted him to stop playing.
Two hours after the players left, UEFA said in a statement that the teams had agreed to play the last 76 minutes of the match on Wednesday after agreeing on the unusual condition of replacing the match officials completely. It also said it would review the incident that halted the match.
“A comprehensive investigation into the incident will be opened immediately,” UEFA said in a statement.
And he will enter Paris Saint-Germain, knowing that his place in the knockout rounds in the tournament is secure, after Manchester United’s defeat by RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening, which led to the elimination of the English Premier League club. Basaksehir has already been excluded from the competition.
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