PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar defended his team and Istanbul Basaksehir’s decision not to play in the Champions League yesterday due to allegations of racism.
It was allegedly done by match officials, when the world’s most expensive player said racism “has no place in football and life.”
“What happened is unacceptable. While we are still alive, we cannot accept differences made based on skin color or race,” Neymar told French broadcaster RMC Sport after scoring a hat-trick in PSG’s 5-1 win.
“It has no place in football or in life, or any sport, so what we do is perfect.”
The match in Paris was disrupted in the 14th minute yesterday when a fight broke out involving the fourth official of the match from Romania for allegedly using racist words against Cameroon’s assistant coach Basaksehir, Pierre Webo.
When Basaksehir refused to return to the field unless the officer was removed, the game had to be resumed 24 hours later with a new referee.
Meanwhile, the European football governing body, UEFA, opened an investigation into the incident.