A Romanian referee has been suspended for the rest of the season after making inappropriate comments about a black coach at a Champions League game.
The incident resulted in a massive row, sparking a player walk-off.
Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir refused to continue playing during the clash on December 8. Both set of players believed fourth official Sebastian Coltescu had racially insulted the Turkish club’s assistant coach, Pierre Webo.
Webo, a former Cameroon national, said Coltescu had disrespected him by referring to him as “the black one” in Romanian. An investigation was launched by European soccer’s governing body.
The UEFA investigation led to Coltescu facing the lesser charge of inappropriate behaviour rather than racist conduct. Subsequently, Coltescu was banned until the end of the 2020/21 season on Monday. Also, UEF has ruled that he must also attend a UEFA-approved educational course.
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“In the international context, correct use of language is essential to avoid situations such as those that occurred in the above-mentioned match,” UEFA said.
The ban will apply to domestic games in Romania because Coltescu is no longer on the FIFA-managed list of officials approved for international games.
The incident came after Webo had protested a decision on the touchline. Footage appeared to show Coltescu suggesting Webo couldn’t protest like that and identifying him with the Romanian word.
Webo was angered and was sent off with a red card. Players from both teams became involved and refused to play on. The Champions League game was completed 24 hours later with a different set of match officials brought in from the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, action resumes in the UEFA Champions League tonight as Juventus attempt to overturn a 1-2 deficit against Porto. Also, Borussia Dortmund will be looking to complete the job when they take on Sevilla in the second leg of their knockout tie tonight. The German side are 3-2 up from the first leg.