Turkish President Erdogan weighs in on racism storm which marred PSG-Istanbul Basaksehir Champions League tie
The incident, which was incited when a Romanian UEFA official allegedly made a racist comment towards Basaksehir assistant coach and former Cameroon international Pierre Webo, prompted a furious touchline row between both sides and UEFA representatives and ultimately led to the game being abandoned.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who maintains a strong relationship with Basaksehir's owners, hit out at the saga in no uncertain terms and called for UEFA to launch a full investigation into the matter, saying that he hopes European football's governing body takes the "necessary measures" to root out racism and discrimination in the sport.
Temsilcimiz Başakşehir’in teknik ekibinden Pierre Webo'ya karşı sarf edilen ırkçı sözleri şiddetle kınıyor, UEFA tarafından gereken adımların atılacağına inanıyorum.Sporda ve hayatın tüm alanlarında ırkçılığa ve ayrımcılığa kayıtsız şartsız karşıyız. #Notoracism— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) December 8, 2020
"I strongly condemn the racist remarks made against Pierre Webo, one of our representative Basakşehir's technical team, and I believe that the necessary steps will be taken by UEFA," Erdogan wrote on Twitter.
"We are unconditionally against racism and discrimination in sports and all areas of life."
All forms of racism go against the values held by Paris Saint-Germain, the club’s Chairman, staff and players.— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) December 8, 2020
Basaksehir's social media channels echoed Erdogan's statement after the club issued an image of three club members, including Pierre Webo, kneeling and raising a solitary fist to the sky. The club also posted an image of UEFA's 'No To Racism' logo.
Paris Saint-Germain underscored Basaksehir's statements on their own social media pages, writing: "All forms of racism go against the values held by Paris Saint-Germain, the club's Chairman, staff and players."
UEFA have "decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played (Wednesday) with a new team of match officials" - a statement which makes it unlikely that either team will be disciplined for deciding to walk off the pitch despite rules that any team refusing to play is liable to forfeit the game and receive a fine of €250,000 ($303,000 / £225,000).Also on rt.com ‘Demba Ba is the f*cking man’: Fans row as stars WALK OFF in Champions League after furiously accusing official of racism (VIDEO)
French champion PSG are already assured of qualification to the Champions League knockout stages following Manchester United's defeat in RB Leipzig on Tuesday but can secure top spot with three points.
Basaksehir's debut season in the Champions League, meanwhile, will see them rooted to last place in Group H in a campaign which created more headlines off the pitch than on it.