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PSG, İstanbul Başakşehir Players Kneel During Champions League Anthem Before Match Resumes

The match was suspended on Tuesday after a fourth official was accused of racism toward a Başakşehir coach.

PSG and İstanbul Başakşehir players walked off the pitch to protest a fourth official’s alleged racist comment toward a Başakşehir assistant coach during their Champions League Group H match on Tuesday. The players refused to resume the match unless the fourth official was not involved, and without sufficient cover (UEFA needed the fourth official to at least help as a VAR), the match was suspended until Wednesday.

When PSG and İstanbul Başakşehir finally resumed on Wednesday, the two teams joined together to make an anti-racism statement. As the Champions League anthem rung through the empty Parc des Princes ahead of the restart, players on both teams (and the referees) took a knee at the center circle, fists raised in solidarity against racism.

Embed from Getty Images

I’m not sure why the players were subjected to yet another playing of the Champions League anthem, but it provided a memorable moment and a little closure to Tuesday’s events, which undoubtedly tarnished the reputation of UEFA referees. 

Soon after the restart, which was a free kick in the 14th minute, Neymar opened the scoring with a beauty from the edge of the 18, nutmegging his defender in the process.

PSG wins Group H with a victory but advances to the Round of 16 regardless of the result. 

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