Demba Ba leads protests as PSG v Istanbul Basaksehir is rescheduled
The PSG v Istanbul Basaksehir Champions League match will be played to a finish on Wednesday after players from both teams walked off the pitch on Tuesday night when the fourth official was accused of racism.
The Group H clash in Paris was halted after 13 minutes, with the players walking off 10 minutes later, before UEFA finally confirmed it would be completed the following day with new match officials.
The governing body said it had launched an investigation.
PSG’s players followed their opponents off the field in the wake of a red card being shown to one of Basaksehir’s staff, assistant manager Pierre Webo. Video footage shows the Cameroonian accusing the fourth official of using racist language.
Further footage of the incident showed Basaksehir striker Demba Ba remonstrating with the fourth official. The man in question is Romanian Sebastian Coltescu.
The former Chelsea forward, visibly upset, is seen speaking to the official.
“Why, when you mention a black guy, do you have to say this black guy?” he asks.
UEFA said in a statement: “Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir, 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.
“A thorough investigation on the incident that took place will be opened immediately.”
The match will resume at 1755GMT.
UEFA had initially said the game would continue with a replacement fourth official. However, as the hours ticked on, it became increasingly apparent that would not be the case.
Basaksehir had earlier posted a message on their Twitter account. That read: “NO TO RACISM #Respect”. They later announced their players would not be reappearing to complete the match.
“Our players has taken a decision NOT TO go back on the pitch. That’s after our assistant coach, Pierre Webo has been exposed to racist behaviour by the 4th Official,” Basaksehir said on Twitter.
PSG release statement
PSG said that “all forms of racism go against the values held by Paris Saint-Germain and the club’s chairman, staff and players”.
The statement added that they were committed to ending all forms of abuse in the game.
“For more than 15 years Paris Saint-Germain has led the fight against discrimination. We continue to work to eradicate it in all forms. Today, we are one of the most committed sports clubs striving to end all forms of violence and discrimination.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the alleged racist remarks. He has urged UEFA “to take the necessary measures”.
Erdogan said on Twitter: “I strongly condemn the racist remarks made against Pierre Webo, member of the technical staff of Basaksehir. I am convinced that UEFA will take the necessary measures.”