TV footage has picked up exactly what Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu said to result in the PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir players walking off the pitch during their Champions League clash.
Basaksehir assistant manager Pierre Webo was sent off after 14 minutes after words were exchanged with fourth official Sebastian Coltescu from Romania.
Footage appeared to show Webo angrily asking why Coltescu used the word ‘negru’, which is Romanian for black.
A fiery debate was held on the touchline and players left the pitch after around 22 minutes as refereeing officials, club officials, coaching staff and players discussed what they believed had happened.
Footage translated from Romanian picks up Coltescu saying to the referee when discussing Webo’s sending off: “The black one over there. Go and check who he is. The black one over there, it’s not possible to act like that.”
Istanbul forward Demba Ba was among the first to confront Coltescu, and he said: “You never say ‘this white guy’, you say ‘this guy’, so why when you mention…”
He was then interrupted, but soon continued: “Listen to me. When you say ‘a black guy’, why do you have to say ‘this black guy’?”
One of the officials responded that it is a miscommunication relating to “Romanian language.”
It is not yet clear whether the game will resume tonight, but it is believed Istanbul are refusing to continue unless the fourth official is replaced.
A number of PSG players themselves are also thought to have been left angry with the conduct of the official, with Kylian Mbappe reportedly saying to the referee: “We cannot play with this guy.”
The game is the final one for both sides in Group H, with RB Leipzig v Manchester United the other game in the group taking place.