UEFA banned Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu until the end of the season after engaging in a storm of racism allegations during the heated Champions League game between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir.

Pierre Webo, the Turkish champions’ Cameroonian assistant coach, claimed he was exposed to racist remarks by Coltescu after he was sent off after a touchline spit during the Champions League group stage on December 8. The game was subsequently abandoned. Istanbul players left the field, where they were soon supported by their Paris opposition.

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The storm sparked when Coltescu allegedly referred to Webo as “the black” when asked by the referee which member of the Istanbul Basaksehir coaching staff he wanted a card. Several players – including former Chelsea striker Demba Ba – reacted violently.

Others, including PSG Brazilian star Neymar, were also angry about the incident.

The game resumed the next day with another group of officials overseeing the game that the French champions would eventually win 5-1.

UEFA announced that it is launching an investigation into the possible violation of Article 11 of its Disciplinary Act, which requires members to “respect the principles of ethical conduct, loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship”.

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The case was then referred to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, which recommended that “a disciplinary investigation be conducted into the incident and the events that led to it”.

It was announced on Monday that Coltescu had been banned by UEFA for “improper conduct during a UEFA match for which he was appointed”.

He was also directed to attend an appropriate “educational program” before June 30, 2021.

Is suspension the best punishment? Then someone else will do the same and know that the worst part is for them to be suspended. Shame!!!. Dismiss any official involved in racism and ban any fan or player involved in racism. Then we will know that the body really wants to end racism.

– Lance Mavin Marah (@Lancemavin) March 8, 2021

He really got suspended for identifying someone as black, what a joke

– @ (@ Magista7278) March 8, 2021

Even UEFA has woken up fully now. The word “black” is not racist.

– VR46 FPL @ (@ VR46FPL) March 8, 2021

Somewhat predictably, the online response to Coltescu’s ban was mixed – some said the suspension was too lenient, others said it was too harsh.

“Dismiss any official involved in racism and ban any fan or player involved in racism. Then we will know that the body really wants to end racism,” wrote one fan while another considered the ban “Joke”.

Another wrote that UEFA “woke up completely” in its decision to ban the official, suggesting that the European Football Association is bowing to the PC brigade.

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Immediately after the December game, Coltescu used his own social media to protest his innocence.

“Racism was never my intention,” he wrote online. “In such an environment, sometimes people cannot express their feelings properly and are misunderstood. I apologize on behalf of the UEFA Champions League.”