Soccer

Romanian soccer ref banned for season over inappropriate word to describe Black coach

Romanian soccer referee Sebastian Coltescu was suspended for the season after making "inappropriate" comments about a Black coach at a Champions League game, UEFA ruled on Monday.

Sebastian Coltescu must also attend UEFA-approved educational course

Romanian referee Sebastian Coltescu was suspended Monday for the balance of the UEFA season after making "inappropriate" comments about a Black coach. Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir refused to continue playing Dec. 8 because they believed Coltescu racially insulted the Turkish club's assistant coach, Pierre Webo. (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

A Romanian soccer referee was suspended for the season after making "inappropriate" comments about a Black coach at a Champions League game, UEFA ruled on Monday.

Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir refused to continue playing on Dec. 8 because players believed fourth official Sebastian Coltescu racially insulted the Turkish club's assistant coach, Pierre Webo.

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4 months ago
9:58
The Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was postponed until Wednesday when players walked off the field on Tuesday after alleging that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of Romania used a racial term when identifying an assistant coach. 9:58

A UEFA investigation led to Coltescu facing the lesser charge of "inappropriate behaviour" for using the Romanian word for black, "negru," to identify Webo.

Coltescu is banned "from carrying out any referee's function until the end of the 2020/21 season," UEFA said its disciplinary committee decided. He must also attend a UEFA-approved educational course.

"In the international context, correct use of language is essential to avoid situations such as those that occurred in the above-mentioned match," UEFA said.

The ban will apply to domestic games in Romania because Coltescu is no longer on the FIFA-managed list of officials approved for international games.

Romania's soccer federation decided before the game in Paris not to propose Coltescu for 2021, and the PSG-Basaksehir tie was his last on international duty.

The game was completed 24 hours later with a different set of match officials brought in from the Netherlands.

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