UEFA has banned a Romanian referee for the rest of the season, despite clearing him of any discriminatory behaviour during Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir last December.
The Champions League group game was abandoned when both sets of players walked off the pitch in the wake of a claim that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu had used racist language to the Turkish club’s assistant coach Pierre Webo.
While Coltescu and assistant referee Octavian Sovre have been cleared of the accusation following an investigation from UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, they have both been suspended until July.
A statement said the CEDB had decided: “To suspend Mr Sebastian Constantin Coltescu from carrying out any referee’s function until the end of the 2020/21 season, i.e. until 30 June 2021, for the violation of Article 11(1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA Matches (GTC), i.e. for inappropriate behaviour during a UEFA match for which he was appointed.
“To order Mr Sebastian Constantin Coltescu to attend an educational programme before 30 June 2021 under the conditions determined by the UEFA refereeing services.
“To reprimand Mr Octavian Sovre for the violation of Article 11(1) DR and Article 6(1) of the General Terms and Conditions for Referees officiating at UEFA Matches, i.e. for inappropriate behaviour during a UEFA match for which he was appointed.
“To order Mr Octavian Sovre to attend an educational programme as soon as possible, but before 30 June 2021 under the conditions determined by the UEFA refereeing services.
“With this decision, the CEDB has therefore considered that both match officials violated Articles 11(1) DR and 6(1) GTC (obligation to behave in an appropriate manner), but not Article 14 DR (racism and other discriminatory conduct).”
UEFA also urged match officials to always use appropriate language during games.
The statement added: “The CEDB also agreed with the EDI that UEFA officials should be adequately and specifically trained to make better decisions on the choice of language and words to be used in UEFA competitions.
“In the international context, correct use of language is essential to avoid situations such as those that occurred in the above-mentioned match.”
The match was abandoned with the score at 0-0 inside 13 minutes in Paris, but the game was replayed a day later as PSG ran out 5-1 winners.