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Players walk off Champions League match over alleged racism

The Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Basaksehir will resume on Wednesday   -  
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AFP

France

The Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Basaksehir will resume on Wednesday after it was postponed when players walked off the pitch on Tuesday after allegations that a match official used a racist term when identifying a Black assistant coach.

Players from the Turkish team alleged fourth official Sebastian Coltescu used a racial term to describe their assistant coach Pierre Webo, who is from Cameroon, before he was sent off by the referee.

Basaksehir substitute Demba Ba demanded that the fourth official explain himself and signalled for his teammates to walk off.

The French team followed them off the field.

PSG players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also demanded an explanation. Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk said “you are racist” to Coltescu.

The score was 0-0 when the incident took place about 14 minutes into the match.

UEFA said on Twitter:"Racism, and discrimination in all its forms, has no place within football," adding, an investigation would be opened and that the match would resume on Wednesday evening with new officials.

What was said?

Television footage captured the exchange between the fourth official and the referee, with Coltescu telling Hategan that Webo should be reprimanded for his behavior on the sidelines:

“Go and give it (the red card) to the Black one, this is not possible (tolerable), go and identify him, go verify, the Black one over there,” Coltescu allegedly said, in Romanian, about Webo.

Webo was enraged and was heard to repeat at least six times “Why you say negro?” as he sought an explanation from Coltescu.

Webo, who was visibly distressed, then added: “He can’t say negro, he can’t say negro.”

At this point, Ba could be heard also questioning what Coltescu had said.

“Why is the fourth official saying ‘negro?’” Ba said twice.

Moments later, Ba then came off the bench and stood in front of Coltescu and said: “Why when you mention a Black guy, you have to say ‘This Black guy?’”

What has been the reaction?

The Istanbul team said Webo was "exposed to racist behaviour".

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe tweeted: "Say no to racism. Webo we are with you."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, said he believed Uefa would "take the necessary steps".

"We are unconditionally against racism and discrimination in sports and in all areas of life," he wrote on Twitter.

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