Players from Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir walked off the pitch in the early stages of last night’s Uefa Champions League match after an official directed a racist comment at the Turkish club's assistant coach, Pierre Webo.
The incident occurred roughly 15 minutes into the match when Webo, who is a former Cameroonian international, was shown a red card by referee Ovidiu Hategan. Reports suggest that the match’s fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu of Romania, used the word “negro” to point out Webo to the referee, who had asked who should be sent off.
Upon hearing about the comment, Istanbul substitute Demba Ba approached Coltescu, demanding he explain himself. Ba asked the fourth official to explain why he used “black” as a descriptor for Webo, when he more than likely would not have used “white” to describe a player. Neymar and Kylian Mbappé of PSG joined Ba in confronting the official, while Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk reportedly told Coltescu, "You are racist."
In a strong and unified stance against what happened, players from both Istanbul Basaksehir and PSG left the pitch at Parc des Princes. Officials suggested the match restart with a different fourth official after a brief intermission, though it was later decided by Uefa that the game would commence on Wednesday with a new team of referees.
UEFA issued the below statement following the incident.
Following the postponement of the game, the players involved and members of the footballing community spoke out against the incident and racism in any form. Read through some of the responses below.