Players from both Istanbul Basaksehir and Paris Saint-Germain walked off the pitch during Tuesday’s Champions League clash after accusing the fourth official of using racist language.
Istanbul’s assistant coach Pierre Webo, a former Cameroon international, was sent off midway through the first half, though reacted angrily when the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu, identified him to the on-pitch referee, Ovidiu Hategan.
Webo had to be dragged away as he repeatedly yelled, “Why did you say n****?” with the rest of the Istanbul coaches and substitutes in uproar.
‘So why when you mention a black guy do you have to say: “This black guy”? But seriously, I don’t get it!’
Another of the officials suggested that there had been a miscommunication relating to the Romanian language, from where the officiating team all come from, but players from both sides were incensed.
Kylian Mbappe was very vocal and encouraged his PSG teammates to follow the Basaksehir players off the pitch and down the tunnel, while Presnel Kimpembe was picked up on RMC cameras saying: ‘Is he serious?! We are heading in. That is it, we are heading in.’
The game was scheduled to resume at 9pm GMT, an hour after the initial kick-off, but only PSG’s players came out, warming up in the tunnel.
There is still some uncertainty over whether or not Basaksehir’s players will return and PSG’s squad are expected to refuse to play in solidarity with their opponents if they are not satisfied with the explanations they receive from Uefa.
Football’s governing body are believed to have offered to sub out the fourth official, Coltescu, and replace him with the VAR assistant, though Istanbul must decide quickly whether to play on or they will forfeit the match.