UEFA announced on Monday, March 8, 2021 that the match official who was in charge of the December Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir has been banned for the rest of the season for “inappropriate behaviour”, after allegations of racism were labeled against him.
Sebastian Coltescu, from Romania, was banned from any referee’s function until the end of the 2020/21 season, i.e. until 30 June 2021 but was not found guilty to have breached UEFA articles covering racism and other discriminatory conduct.
The incident occurred when the group-stage game was stopped in the 14th minute, after a touchline argument started involving Coltescu, who was the fourth official saying he allegedly described Basaksehir’s Cameroonian assistant coach Pierre Webo as “black”, or “negru” in Romanian. But the game was replayed the next day.
Coltescu was then asked to attend an educational programme along with assistant referee Octavian Sovre. Sovre avoided a ban but did receive a sanction for inappropriate behavior.
The whole Romanian team officials were replaced for the rescheduled game by a new team of referees headed by the Netherlands’ Danny Makkelie.
The game was played 24 hours later with players taking a knee and wearing anti-racism T-shirts as a show of solidarity in the fight against racism before PSG won 5-1.
The match took place in a stadium without spectators because of the Covid-19 restrictions. It was in a picked up argument, as a furious Webo continuously asked why a racist term had been used to describe him.
In the exchange in question Coltescu said:
“The black one over there. This is not possible. Go and identify him. That guy, the black one.”
In a statement released on Monday, European football’s governing body said that;
“Officials should be adequately and specifically trained to make better decisions on the choice of language and words to be used in UEFA competitions”.
“In the international context, correct use of language is essential to avoid situations such as those that occurred in the above-mentioned match.”
According to Guardian, Webo was shown a red card before the incident happened and was given a one-match suspension for unsporting conduct.
UEFA said his matching orders were given before the incidents and “was therefore not provoked by them”.