Champions, racist incident with Demba Ba

Romanian referee accused of racism in Champions League apologises

Sebastian Coltescu was accused of racism when he called Pierre Webo “nigger” during a Champions League match.

Romanian assistant referee Sebastian Coltescu, accused of racism following the incident that occurred during a Champions League match between PSG and Istanbul Başakşehir in which players from both teams left the field after he called “nigger” to the second coach of the Başakşehir, Pierre Webo, has apologised to Demba Ba, a Turkish team player who came out in defence of Webo.

On December 9, Demba Ba confronted Coltescu after he addressed the head referee and said “kick that nigger out” after an argument with Webo over a play. Ba then faced Coltescu and began to reproach him for referring to the colour of his skin. “Listen to me: you never say ‘That white man’, you say ‘That man’; but if he is black, why do you say ‘That black man’?” Ba said.

“The referee, Sebastian Coltescu, called me by phone and said that he is not a racist person. He apologised for what had happened,” Ba explained. According to Romanian media, the call was made through the mediation of a former Senegalese footballer, with the same nationality as Ba.

“Someone that I couldn’t say no called me, and said the referee wanted to talk to me. I said okay, and then Coltescu phoned me,” Ba said. “He told me he was sorry about what had happened, and insisted that he was not a racist person” added the Başakşehir player, adding that for the Romanian referee “the case is closed”.

The mediator in that call was the retired Senegalese footballer Ousmane N’Doye, who played the last years of his career in Romania and who in statements to the Romanian press said that the dispute between the two that occurred in the Champions League has been settled. “Demba Ba is from Senegal, like me. I made them talk. They both said about the other ‘he’s a good man.’ Da did not accuse the referee of racism,” said N’Doye.