UEFA suspends fourth official from PSG vs Istanbul UCL clash after racism row
Racism has been one of the most disruptive acts in the world of football, with the incidents of abuse increasing with every passing day. A similar instance was on the fore when a match official - Sebastian Coltescu was accused of having directed a racial slur at Pierre Webo, the assistant manager of Istanbul Basaksehir during the Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Exactly three months later, the top European footballing governing body UEFA has suspended the fourth official.
Sebastian Coltescu suspended over racism row during PSG vs Istanbul clash
The PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir clash was brought to a halt in the 14th minute after Sebastian Coltescu was accused of hurling racist abuse at Pierre Webo. The incident caught the attention of the Istanbul players and they decided to leave the field in protest against the match official.
PSG players also joined the chorus and condemned Coltescu's action. The game was thus postponed for the next day. Taking cognizance of the incident, UEFA confirmed that none of the match officials involved in the game will be a part of the rescheduled fixture and a new team will officiate the clash.
He however denied the racist allegations against him. According to Romanian outlet ProSport, Coltescu told his family, "I just try to be good. 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."
UEFA has now acted against the match official. The top governing body, on Monday, confirmed that Sebastian Coltescu has been banned for the rest of the season following the racism row. He has also been ordered to attend an educational programme along with assistant referee Octavian Sovre.
Who is Sebastian Coltescu?
This isn't however the first time that the match official has found himself on the receiving end of criticism. The Romanian referee was demoted to the second tier of Romanian football in 2007 by global football governing body FIFA. He only returned to refereeing top-flight games in the country a year later.
He was the match referee at the European stage for just one game this season - in the clash between Petrocub Hincesti and Backa Topola in a Europe League qualifier. Just two weeks prior to the racism saga, he was in the spotlight for his bizarre decisions in a Romanian League game between Gaz Metan Medias and Steaua Bucharest. Adrian Porumboiu, one of the former Romanian referees, hit out at the 43-year-old, stating that his career was filled with "dark moments."