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UEFA suspends Romanian referee after racism row

UEFA has suspended a Romanian football referee until the end of the current season for “inappropriate behaviour” in a match last December between Turkish club Basaksehir and France’s Paris St Germain (PSG).

UEFA said in a statement on Monday that Sebastian Coltescu had been suspended for “inappropriate behaviour during a UEFA match” and had been ordered to “attend an educational programme before 30 June 2021”.

The European football body launched proceedings in February against Coltescu after Basaksehir claimed he used a racial slur to identify Pierre Achille Webo, their assistant manager, during a match against (PSG).

Webo, a former Cameroon international, said Coltescu had disrespected him by referring to him as “the Black one”.

The Champions League match in Paris on December 8 was halted after 13 minutes following an argument on the touchline over the red card shown to Webo and only resumed the following day after the four Romanian officials were replaced.

Assistant referee Octavian Sovre was also reprimanded for his role and ordered to attend an educational programme before June 30.

Webo, a former Cameroon international, said Coltescu had referred to him as ‘the Black one’ [Frank Fife/AFP]

The two officials were found guilty of violating Article 11(1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations which deals with general principles of conduct and focuses on breaches such as those that bring the game into disrepute.

UEFA said they also violated Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA matches which ask officials to “behave in a professional and appropriate manner” during and after the game.

Players from both sides, as well as the three new on-field match officials, took a knee before the game resumed the following day with PSG winning 5-1 at the Parc des Princes.

Webo said the incident was so stressful he needed to be prescribed sleep medication but took solace in the fact that December 8 would be remembered in the fight against racism.

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