January 27, 2021

Neymar makes history as the racism-plagued Champions League match concluded

2 min read

Neymar scored a stunning hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain trailed to a 5-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir to conclude their earlier abandoned match due to racism incident.  A day before the big win, the fixture in France has been suspended after members of both teams walked out of the pitch over an alleged racist remarks occurred during the game involving Basaksehir assistant Pierre Webo and a fourth official.

The match restarted in the 14th minute where it had been halted as a match official allegedly used racial language toward the Turkish side’s assistant coach. Basaksehir players were furious, claiming fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of Romania had used a racial term against assistant coach Pierre Webo, who is from Cameroon, before Webo was sent off at Parc des Princes by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan.

The European football’s governing body UEFA was quick to react on the said incident and announced the suspension of the involved official along with new refereeing team to officiate the resumption of the match. UEFA also revealed that Webo’s red card has been put on hold as it investigates the incident. The Romanian official is facing a minimum of 10-match suspension following the incident.

Meanwhile, during the resumption of the match a day after the incident, players and officials took the knee and raised their fist as the Champions League anthem plays in the background. The whole PSG squad was also seen wearing shirts during their warm-ups that read “No To Racism”. UEFA also appointed new set of refereeing team that officiate the match.

Twenty-minutes in the pitch, Neymar opened the scoring for his side, and added another before half-time along with Kylian Mbappe, who netted a penalty to put PSG 3-0 up by the break. The forward was also on target four minutes after the restart to bring up his hat-trick, and a new Champions League record. Neymar clinched a unique piece of Champions League history in this hat-trick.

The Brazilian star has now reached 20 goals for PSG, a mark he also reached during his four years at Barcelona, where he notched 21 in 40 games. Nobody in history has ever managed to score 20 for two clubs in the history of the tournament, placing Neymar above such renowned goal-getters as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski.

His hat-trick, meanwhile, is his third Champions League hat-trick since Celtic in December 2013 and against Crvena Zvezda in October 2018, making him the only third player to have scored more hat-tricks in the competition, following Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo (8 each). PSG reached the top 16 of the Champions League and will be back in action to once attempt to clinch the title.

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