The fallout from the Champions League clash between Istanbul Basaksehir and Paris Saint-Germain has taken a new twist after footage appeared to show the Turkish bench calling the fourth official a ‘gypsy’.
Footage released by Romanian channel Digi24 has emerged and a voice with a reported Turkish accent in the background appears to make a derogatory remark in English towards Sebastian Coltescu, the fourth official in question..
‘In my country, Romanians are gypsies,’ he says.
Pierre Webo (right), Basaksehir’s assistant manager, was livid when he was allegedly identified as ‘the black one over there’ by fourth official Sebastian Coltescu
Footage appeared to show the word ‘gitanos’ (‘gypsies’) used towards fourth official Coltescu
BREAKING: Voice from the back “In my country, Romanians are gypsy!” No comment.
Initially, I thought it was Topal saying it, judging by lip-reading. I have no certainty on the identity of the one who said it, so I won’t advance any name. pic.twitter.com/cPauQ0lM4t
— Emanuel Roşu (@Emishor) December 9, 2020
It was not the only incident where the Basaksehir bench have been accused of referring to nationality of officials during their first match with PSG, which was abandoned before being played out 24 hours later than planned, on Wednesday.
Early in the game at the Parc des Princes referee Ovidiu Hategan gave one of the Basaksehir players a booking following a rash challenge.
New footage has emerged which has claimed Basaksehir’s bench protesting the behaviour of the referee, referring to his Romanian nationality in English.
Sebastian Coltescu was accused of using the word ‘negru’ – Romanian for ‘black’ – to identify Istanbul Basaksehir coach Webo. He has since come out and said that he is not a racist
Romanian fourth official Coltescu was later accused of using racist language by the Istanbul bench during their Group H clash on Tuesday.
Footage appeared to show Coltescu stating: ‘The black one over there. Go and check who he is. The black one over there, it’s not possible to act like that’. He was referring to Istanbul’s assistant Pierre Webo.
Players from both sides walked off in protest at the officials conduct. Now, UEFA have said they have launched an investigation into the alleged remarks.
They are also believed to be looking into the conduct of the Istanbul bench.
UEFA said: ‘In accordance with the Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, an Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed today to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding the incident.’
European football’s governing body added that ‘a thorough investigation will be opened immediately’ and that Coltescu does face the prospect of a minimum 10-game ban if found guilty of using racist language on the touchline.
Basaksehir substitute Demba Ba remonstrates with the referee Ovidiu Hategan, watched by PSG players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe who both supported the walk-off protest
Players from PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir angrily gather around officials on the touchline
Article 3 of UEFA’s disciplinary rules cites both match officials and players — which means they can be punished by the governing body for offences.
Article 14 of UEFA’s code would be used to exact punishment onto the official if he is deemed guilty following the ongoing investigation.
Coltescu is reported to have said ‘ala negru’ — translating into English as ‘the black guy’.
His Instagram was hacked and following a fierce backlash, in a conversation with relatives, which emerged on Wednesday morning in Romanian media, Coltescu defended his character.
‘I just try to be good,’ he said, according to Romanian outlet ProSport.
‘I’m not going to read any news sites these next few days. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not racist! At least that’s what I hope.’
Ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba, a substitute for the Turkish side, was one of the key protagonists on Tuesday following the comment made.
Both sets of players then left the pitch and returned to the dressing room in a united protest
The Instagram account of Coltescu, accused of racially abusing Istanbul Basaksehir assistant coach Webo, has apparently been hacked with Webo’s face made the profile picture
Within minutes of the incident, Basaksehir posted a picture of UEFA’s ‘No To Racism’ campaign
Kylian Mbappe posted a message of support to the Basaksehir assistant manager later on
He charged in the direction of Coltescu to question why he had used the word to identify Webo.
He said: ‘You never say ‘this white guy’, you say ‘this guy’, so why when you’re mentioning him… listen to me… why when you mention a black guy, why do you say ‘this black guy’.’
Ionut Stroe, the Romanian Minister for Sport, reportedly sent ‘apologies on behalf of Romanian sport,’ on Tuesday night.
‘We strongly condemn any expression or declaration that could be considered racist,’ the minster added.
‘Sport is about completely different things, such as hard work, ambition and fair play. I hope this doesn’t cause a diplomatic scandal.’
Coltescu, who faces a minimum 10-match ban if found guilty, is a top-flight referee in Romania, but has reportedly officiated in his final European campaign after being demoted by FIFA.
Tuesday’s game was abandoned because players refused to return to the pitch with the same officiating team. Twenty-four hours later they were all replaced and PSG ran out 5-1 winners.
The message on the board showed ‘NO TO RACISM’ as players produced a united front
Both sets of players take the knee at Parc des Princes before the re-arranged game started
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi gifted a special shirt to Webo after the game had finished
Sportsmail understands that resuming the match after swapping the assistant Video Assistant Referee (VAR), who was based in a truck outside the stadium, with the fourth official, was initially proposed.
However Basaksehir rejected that suggestion. And with no time to find a new fourth official and Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR) in order to complete the game on Tuesday it was instead concluded on Wednesday night.
Dutch referee Danny Makkelie led an entirely new team of officials to oversee the game’s conclusion.
Players all took the knee in a powerful pre-match gesture and donned ‘No To Racism’ warm-up t-shirts before forming a ring around the centre circle with the match officials.
The game – a 5-1 win which secured top spot for PSG – was played out against the backdrop of ‘No To Racism’ banners and another message in support of Basaksehir’s coach Webo as the French and Turkish champions produced a united front to underline their anti-racism stance at the Parc de Princes.