Soccer players walk out of Paris match after referee makes alleged racist remark

İstanbul Basaksehir striker Demba Ba challenged the remark, but players for both soccer teams left the field.

Players walked out of a Champions League game on Tuesday after a referee allegedly made a racist remark about an assistant coach. 

It was during a tournament match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir at Parc des Princes stadium when an official made the remark about Pierre Webo, the assistant coach of the Turkish team. 

Pro soccer player Demba Ba of İstanbul Basaksehir shows his mettle in a recent soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Webo had been sent off the soccer pitch after confronting the referee. 

According to an NBC News report, the official, identified as Sebastian Colţescu, reportedly used a Romanian word for a Black person. 

The striker for the Turkish team, Demba Ba, challenged the remark.

“You never say ‘this white guy;’ you say ‘this guy,'” Ba said in a video of the incident. “So why when you — listen to me — so why when you mention a Black guy, you say ‘this Black guy?'”

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The match was suspended only 23 minutes after play began when members of both teams walked off the pitch after the confrontation. 

“In the Paris Saint Germain match, our footballers decided not to go on the field due to the racism that the 4th referee Sebastian Coltescu had against our assistant coach Pierre Webo,” the Instanbul team later tweeted.

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The UEFA posted the following statement about the incident on its website: “Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and İstanbul Başakşehir FK, UEFA has – after discussion with both clubs – decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played tomorrow (Wednesday 9 December) with a new team of match officials. The kick-off has been set at 18:55 CET.”

“A thorough investigation of the incident that took place will be opened immediately,” it concluded.

International soccer fans supported Ba and the coach on Twitter. 

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“Oh, globalism propaganda. No way that Sebastian told him ‘negru’ in a disrespectful way. Us, romanians, we use expressions like ‘ala negru'(the black guy)or ‘ala inalt'( the tall guy), and so on, and its only a way to identify a person whom we talk about,” one Turkish fan wrote

However, another replied, “‘negru’ could be a normal word for Romanians. But it is global organization. Refrees must have international mind. And, all we know that ‘negro’ is a racist word. Romanian language is not an excuse.”

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