PSG v Istanbul Basaksehir: Micah Richards gives reaction to official accused of racism

  • Rob Swan

The Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir will resume on Wednesday evening after play was suspended on Tuesday night following an alleged racist incident.

Sebastian Coltescu, the fourth official, is accused by Istanbul of using a racist term against their assistant coach Pierre Webo, who received a red card following an exchange on the touchline.

Both sets of players subsequently walked off the pitch following the incident, which happened in the 14th minute, and a new set of officials will be in charge when play resumes on Wednesday.

"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,” UEFA said in a statement, per BBC Sport.

"A thorough investigation on the incident that took place will be opened immediately."

The Independent claim that Coltescu used the word ‘negru’ - meaning black in Romanian - to which Webo said: “Why did you say negro?”

Istanbul forward Demba Ba, a substitute on the night, was widely praised for challenging the official.

The former Chelsea and Newcastle striker said: "Why, when you mention a black guy, do you have to say this black guy?"

This was the second racism-related issue on which Micah Richards, the former England defender, was asked to give his opinion on following the incident at Millwall on Saturday.

Richards, however, refused to immediately blame Coltescu, explaining how he would prefer to have all the facts first before judging the official.

“It’s a difficult one, to be honest. Demba Ba was within his rights to say what he said,” Richards, speaking on CBS Sports alongside Jamie Carragher and Roberto Martinez, said. “I think that’s the whole problem in society, we’re trying to label people as different.

“But playing devil’s advocate, it’s difficult, because if we’re in a room like we are now, and someone says ‘the black person’ or ‘the black one’, I wouldn’t take offence to that, so without knowing the context the word was used, it’s very difficult to jump on either bandwagon.


“I think the players, for them not to come out and stand together, it might have been something more than that. But from the evidence we’ve seen there it’s very difficult for me to slate the fourth official because I don’t know the context in which it was used.

“In Romania… the word ‘negru’ means black. It’s difficult. The problem with is racism, when a racial moment happens, we don’t really deal with it, and then we have something that might have been or might not have been, it’s two different things. So we can’t assume that just because he said that he was being racist.

“Was he being ignorant? Probably. Racist? I’m not sure, and that’s just off the evidence I’ve been given.”

Watch Richards’ reaction here…

The former Manchester City star’s comments have split opinion on social media.

While some concur with his thoughts…

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Others still believe the fourth official’s comments were unacceptable regardless of the context used…

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