The match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was originally scheduled for 8th December, but an unfortunate incident in the 13th minute caused the match to be suspended.
The fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu, was charged with uttering a racist slur during the heated row near the benches. Apparently, Coltescu’s words, when translated in English, equate to: “The black one over there. This is not possible. Go and identify him. That guy, the black one.”
The match was about to be restarted on that very night, but there was no extra official who could officiate in place of Coltescu, so it was postponed to 9th December.
After a four-month investigation, UEFA, the governing body of European football, has now suspended Coltescu until the end of this season.
Uefa have confirmed that he was found guilty of “inappropriate behaviour” during Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Istanbul Başakşehir last year. However, they have found him not guilty of racism.
A statement read:
“Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector regarding the events that led to the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and İstanbul Başakşehir FK on 8 December 2020 being abandoned, and the subsequent proceedings opened against the match officials Mr. Sebastian Constantin Coltescu and Mr. Octavian Sovre, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) has taken the following decision:
– To suspend Mr. Sebastian Constantin Coltescu from carrying out any referee’s function until the end of the 2020/21 season, i.e. until 30 June 2021, for the violation of Article 11(1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA Matches (GTC), i.e. for inappropriate behaviour during a UEFA match for which he was appointed.
– To order Mr. Sebastian Constantin Coltescu to attend an educational programme before 30 June 2021 under the conditions determined by the UEFA refereeing services.
– To reprimand Mr. Octavian Sovre for the violation of Article 11(1) DR and Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA Matches, i.e. for inappropriate behaviour during a UEFA match for which he was appointed.
– To order Mr. Octavian Sovre to attend an educational programme as soon as possible but before 30 June 2021 under the conditions determined by the UEFA refereeing services.
With this decision, the CEDB has therefore considered that both match officials violated Articles 11(1) DR and 6(1) GTC (obligation to behave in an appropriate manner), but not Article 14 DR (racism and other discriminatory conduct).
The CEDB also agreed with the EDI that UEFA officials should be adequately and specifically trained to make better decisions on the choice of language and words to be used in UEFA competitions. In the international context, correct use of language is essential to avoid situations such as those that occurred in the above-mentioned match.
The motivated decisions will be published in due course.
In relation to the same match and the red card of İstanbul Başakşehir FK assistant coach, Mr. Pierre Achille Webo, which occurred before the incidents which sparked the above sanctions and was therefore not provoked by them, the CEDB has taken the following decision:
– To suspend İstanbul Başakşehir FK assistant coach, Mr. Pierre Achille Webo, for one (1) UEFA competition match in which he would otherwise participate, for unsporting conduct.”