Romanian officials face lesser charge in PSG-Başakşehir case

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — After alleged racist abuse led to a Champions League game being stopped, UEFA opened disciplinary cases against two Romanian match officials on lesser charges Thursday.

Paris Saint-Germain and İstanbul Başakşehir refused to continue playing on Dec. 8 because they believed fourth official Sebastian Coltescu had racially insulted the Turkish club’s assistant coach, Pierre Webo, who is Black.

Television footage showed Coltescu in a conversation with the other Romanian match officials saying “negru,” the Romanian word for black, to identify Webo.

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

Romanian media reported on Thursday that UEFA concluded Coltescu did not use the word in a racist or discriminatory way.

UEFA later said proceedings were opened against Coltescu and second official Octavian Sovre for “a potential violation of Article 11 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”

That relates to “general principles of conduct,” including action that is “insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct.”

Racism is dealt with under a different section of the rules.

UEFA gave no date for a hearing.

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