Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, DR Congo international Youssouf Mulumbu and president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Ahmad Ahmad has lauded Demba Ba for his role as Pierre Webo was allegedly racially abused.
During Tuesday’s Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir at the Parc des Princes, the former Cameroon international was involved in a furious exchange with the fourth official Sebastian Coltescu, who had instructed the referee to send him off after he protested a call on the pitch.
Webo and his Turkish club accused the fourth official of racial abuse in how he identified the Basaksehir assistant to the match referee.
Former Chelsea star Ba, who started on the bench for the visitors on Tuesday, was also seen challenging the official over his use of language, telling him: “You never say, ‘This white guy, that white guy.’ “But when it’s a black guy, you have to say, ‘This black guy’.”
Subsequently, the game was stopped as Basaksehir’s players refused to continue playing, while PSG’s stars followed suit in harmony with their opponents, leaving the Champions League clash in limbo.
Caf president Ahmad took to social media to praise Ba’s ‘gesture of revolt’ which he described as ‘the pride of Africa and the world’.
“The gesture of revolt of Demba Ba is the pride of Africa and the world. It must be encouraged. For a long time, football has been waiting to see all the players in a game say no to racism,” he tweeted.
This sentiment was accentuated by ex-Olympique Marseille, Chelsea and Galatasaray forward Drogba and the Kilmarnock FC midfielder.
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“Thank you Demba B and Achille Webo for standing out and to the players for leaving the field,” the 42-year-old tweeted.
Mulumbu wrote: “Thank you Demba Ba. Courage to the entire Istanbul Basaksehir team.”
Uefa released a statement on the incident, saying: “Uefa is aware of an incident during tonight’s Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir and will be conducting a thorough investigation. Racism, and discrimination in all its forms, has no place within football.”