Racism in Soccer

Racism in Soccer

December 10, 2020 | G-BLOG, Soccer

Pierre Webo. Photo credit: AFP via Getty Images

Racism reared its ugly head again, this time in the UEFA Champions League. During the Dec. 8 game between Paris St-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir in Paris, the players for both teams walked off the field after allegations that a racial slur was used by the fourth official. The game was suspended after only 14 minutes of play. 

The Turkish club alleged Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu used a racial term when identifying Pierre Webo, a Black assistant coach with Basaksehir. The former Cameroon international Webo was shown a red card in an exchange on the touchline and then accused the fourth official of using a racial slur.

UEFA ordered an investigation into the event. 

“An ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding the incident and the events that led to the UEFA Champions League group match Paris St-Germain v İstanbul Basaksehir being abandoned,” a UEFA statement read.

On Dec. 9 the game resumed, with the four officials who replaced the ones from the previous day. The players for both teams warmed up wearing T-shirts with “No To Racism” written on them. They then gathered to kneel and raise their fists. 

Paris St-Germain won the game 5-1.

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