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Fourth official at centre of Paris racism walk-off

Champions League


The clash in Paris was halted after 13 minutes (Francois Mori/AP)

The clash in Paris was halted after 13 minutes (Francois Mori/AP)

The clash in Paris was halted after 13 minutes (Francois Mori/AP)

Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League tie against Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended last night after the Turkish side accused the fourth official of a racist comment towards one of their staff.

The two sides had only played for 23 minutes at the Parc des Princes, with the game level at 0-0, when the Basaksehir players left the pitch and refused to continue the game after assistant manager Pierre Webo claimed the Romanian fourth official had made the comment on the sidelines.

Referee Ovidiu Hategan, who refereed Northern Ireland's controversial World Cup play-off against Switzerland in 2017, showed a red card to one of the Turkish staff prior to the teams walking off the pitch.

Microphones on the touchline picked up Basaksehir striker Demba Ba confronting the fourth official, saying: "You never say 'this White guy', you only say 'this guy'. So why, when you mention a Black guy, do you have to say 'this Black guy'?"

The home side followed them off the pitch in solidarity, with French news sources reporting that Kylian Mbappe was among the most vocal in encouraging his team-mates to walk off.

Basaksehir posted an update on Twitter after the incident, reading: "NO TO RACISM #Respect."

After a delay of approximately an hour, Uefa released a statement saying that the game would resume with a different fourth official. However Basaksehir still refused to play until Uefa confirmed the original fourth official would not remain involved as a VAR official.

Belfast Telegraph