Football Champions League game in Paris halted by alleged racism

Champions League game in Paris halted by alleged racism

Basaksehir and PSG players congregate after racist language was allegedly used by the fourth official. Photo: Getty
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Paris Saint-Germain’s home Champions League game against Istanbul Basaksehir has been suspended after an alleged incident of racism involving the fourth official.

PSG said players from both sides left the pitch in the 23rd minute during their final Group H fixture in Paris.

Players from the Turkish team were incensed, saying fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of Romania had used a racist term against assistant coach Pierre Webo, who is from Cameroon, before he was sent off with a red card at Parc des Princes.

Match referee Ovidiu Hategan of Romania had shown Webo the red card.

Basaksehir substitute Demba Ba demanded that the fourth official – Sebastian Coltescu of Romania – explain himself, while PSG players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also demanded an explanation.
Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk said “you are racist” to Coltescu.

“After a red card is given by the referee to a member of opposition staff, discussions continue between players and staff of both teams with the referee,” PSG said on Twitter.

“The Basaksehir players decide to go back to the locker room, the Parisians follow them.”

Basaksehir posted a message on their Twitter account which read: “NO TO RACISM #Respect.”

The score was 0-0 when the incident took place about 15 minutes into the match.

Elsewhere, Lazio advanced to the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years after a draw 2-2 at home to 10-man Club Brugge.

Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer cancelled out Joaquin Correa’s early opener but Ciro Immobile won and converted a penalty to restore Lazio’s lead before visiting defender Eduard Sobol was sent off at the end of the first half.

However, Hans Vanaken headed in the equaliser 14 minutes from time to set up a tense finale.

Charles De Ketelaere hit the crossbar for Brugge in stoppage time but the Belgian side had to settle for third and a place in the Europa League.

Lazio finished second in Group F, two points above Brugge and three below already-qualified Borussia Dortmund, who won 2-1 at Zenit St. Petersburg as Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest player in Champions League history.

Lazio knew they just needed to avoid defeat against Brugge to qualify for the next round for the first time since 2000-01.

But the Italian side attacked from the start and took the lead in the 12th minute when Simon Mignolet could only parry Luis Alberto’s shot and Correa tucked home the rebound.

Brugge levelled three minutes later with an almost identical goal as Pepe Reina spilled Noa Lang’s snapshot and Vormer rushed in to follow up.

Lazio restored their lead in the 27th after Clinton Mata clumsily tackled Immobile.

The European Golden Shoe winner dusted himself down to stroke the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner for his 10th goal in his past nine matches.

Brugge’s chances diminished six minutes from halftime as Sobol was sent off following a second yellow card.

Lazio surged forward after the break, trying to kill off the match as the rain poured down in Rome.

But instead it was the undermanned Brugge that scored as Vormer turned provider with a precise cross from the right which Vanaken powerfully headed in.

In Russia, Axel Witsel struck for Dortmund after Lukasz Piszczek cancelled out Sebastian Driussi’s opener.

Moukoko came on in the second-half at the age of 16 years and 18 days, breaking Celestine Babayaro’s record in the process.

-with agencies