The UEFA investigation report into the PSG-Basaksehir incident in the Champions League would refute any racist overtones in the comments made by two of the Romanian referees. These conclusions, which have not been formalized, are questioned by SOS Racisme, which expresses its concern in a press release.
“Surprised by this simplistic decision”, SOS Racisme and Sportitude France “are worried” about the supposed conclusions of the UEFA investigation into the incident which occurred during the Champions League match PSG-Basaksehir (5-1) last December. As indicated by L’Equipe, the investigation – the results of which have not been officially communicated for the moment – established that the two referees suspected of having made racist remarks against Pierre Achille Webo had in fact not at fault.
“It is important to understand that we do not designate an individual, verbally or physically, by his origin or his skin color,” writes SOS Racisme, in a statement released Friday. For the association, a dismissal would be nothing other than a “denial of racism in football”.
“Beyond the individual responsibility of the referee concerned, this incident and the unprecedented reaction of the players revealed a nagging and recurring problem in football,” continues SOS Racisme, who says that it cannot envisage UEFA taking action. “a decision contrary to this momentum”. The press release concludes as follows: “We dare to believe that the decision which will be rendered by the disciplinary committee in the coming days will be up to the global awareness generated by this affair”.
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The conclusions remain to be confirmed
In the 13th minute of this match counting for the group stage of C1, at the Parc des Princes, Pierre Achille Webo, assistant coach of the Turkish club, was indignant at having been designated by one of the referees as “the black one” in Romanian (“negru”). “Why do you say negro?”, Then exclaimed the Cameroonian, before the players of both teams decide to leave the lawn. Sebastian Coltescu, the fourth referee, was initially charged. But subsequent analysis of the recordings then shifted suspicion to assistant Octavian Sovre.
Despite information in the media, the outcome of this controversy remains to be confirmed. UEFA has so far officially maintained its disciplinary proceedings against Sebastian Coltescu and Octavian Sovre. They are subject to a potential violation of article 11 of the regulation, which sets out “general principles of conduct” and in particular prohibits insults.