The Champions League football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended inside the opening 15 minutes following an alleged incident involving one of the match officials, according to European football’s governing body UEFA on Tuesday.
Both sets of players decided to walk off the pitch in apparent protest against an alleged racist comment made by an official towards Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo, who is Cameroonian.
After being shown a red card by the match referee, Webo could be heard over the broadcast of French channel RMC Sport repeatedly asking: “Why [did] you say negro?” and pointing at the fourth official.
Basaksehir striker Demba Ba could be heard over the BT Sport broadcast saying: “You never say ‘this White guy,’ you say ‘this guy.’ So why when mention a Black guy, you have to say ‘this Black guy?’”
“Following an alleged incident involving the 4th official, the match was temporarily suspended,” a UEFA spokesperson told CNN. “After consultation with both teams, it was agreed that the match would restart with a different 4th official.
“UEFA will thoroughly investigate the matter and further communication will be made in due course.”
However, UEFA later announced that the Champions League Group H match would be concluded on Wednesday and with different officials.
“Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Istanbul Basaksehir FK, UEFA has – after discussion with both clubs – decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played tomorrow with a new team of match officials,” a spokesperson told CNN.
“The kick-off has been set at 18:55 CET. A thorough investigation on the incident that took place will be opened immediately.”
Shortly after the incident, Basaksehir posted a tweet saying: “Our assistant coach, Pierre Webo has been sent off with a ‘racist’ word by the 4th official ref. of the match. Match has stopped for a while.”
It posted a separate tweet with the message: “NO TO RACISM.”
PSG forward Kylian Mbappe tweeted his support for Webo after the match, writing: ‘SAY NO TO RACISM. M. WEBO WE ARE WITH YOU.”
PSG added: “All forms of racism go against the values held by Paris Saint-Germain, the club’s Chairman, staff and players.”
When the match resumes on Wednesday, PSG will need a victory to guarantee top spot in Group H ahead of RB Leipzig after the German club’s 3-2 victory over Manchester United.