European football’s governing body UEFA has announced that a new refereeing team will officiate the resumption of the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir, which was marred by alleged racism.
Tuesday’s game was suspended after both teams walked off the pitch in protest after an official was accused of making a racist comment 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 fourth official Sebastian Colţescu.
UEFA told CNN that Webo’s red card has been put on hold as it investigates the incident.
The match was suspended inside the opening 15 minutes and UEFA announced it would be concluded on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
UEFA told CNN that Dutch referee Danny Makkelie will lead the new team of officials and will be supported by fellow countryman Mario Diks and Poland’s Marcin Boniek.
Poland’s Bartosch Frankowsky will be the new fourth official whilst Italy’s Marco Di Bello and Maurizio Mariani will oversee VAR.
‘Webo we are with you’
During the incident, 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?’”
Both clubs tweeted its opposition to racism in the aftermath and PSG striker Kylian Mbappe tweeted his support for Webo.
“SAY NO TO RACISM. M. WEBO WE ARE WITH YOU,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, PSG tweeted its opponent: “Let’s play a great match tonight!”
Turkish side Basaksehir replied: “We are a family! #NoToRasicm.”
When the match does resume 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.
Despite the fourth official being Romanian, the incident has taken on an international diplomatic dimension after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted: “Unfortunately, France has become a place where racist approaches and racist rhetoric have intensified.”
In October, France condemned Erdogan over comments he made about Emmanuel Macron’s mental health and treatment of Muslims.
Erdogan suggested that the French President needed “some sort of mental treatment” over his attitude towards Muslims in France.
CNN contacted the French Presidency and the Foreign Ministry but did not receive an official response to Erdogan’s comments.
Meanwhile France’s sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told France Info that “designating someone, showing someone by his skin color” was unacceptable in the country.
She also said she was proud to see the players take a stand.
“When I saw this picture of football players leaving the field all together to rebel and say no to what had just happened, I was proud that we could see this in football and above all, I was proud to be able to explain to my children what the principle of non-discrimination was, thanks to football,” she told France Info on Wednesday.
Matias Grez, Gaëlle Fournier and Gul Tuysuz contributed reporting.