Paris Saint-Germain vs İstanbul Başakşehir was suspended for unsavoury reasons on Tuesday night.
Players on both teams took a stance against an alleged instance of racism from the Romanian fourth official, who reportedly referred to assistant coach Pierre Webo by his skin colour.
The players took a stand against the reported racism by exiting the pitch, leading to the match to be suspended.
PSG vs Istanbul suspended
Fabrizio Romano reported on Twitter: “What a shame in Paris. 4th ref said “the black guy” when indicating to the ref who should be booked on Istanbul’s bench.
“Istanbul Basaksehir walks off the pitch for racism. “Why you call him black man?!”, Istanbul players are literally furious.”
A member of the Başakşehir management team was heard audibly asking the match official why they used the alleged racist language, while Demba Ba was also seen taking a firm stance.
Ba’s passionate reaction
The former Chelsea striker has been widely praised on social media for confronting the refereeing team over the incident with his protestations picked up by the pitchside microphone.
Ba could be heard saying: “You never say: “This white guy.” Why when you mention a black guy, you have to say this black guy.” You can check out the footage here:
If the alleged racist comment was indeed made, as the reaction of the players suggests, then it’s appalling to see on a football pitch in 2020.
It’s important that we do everything in both the sport and wider society to stamp out division when the beautiful game should and always will champion the virtues of unity.