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Micah Richards’ Reaction To Official Accused Of Racism Splits Fan Opinions

Micah Richards’ Reaction To Official Accused Of Racism Splits Fan Opinions

Micah Richards has presented a fresh take on the official accused of racism in the PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir match, one which has divided fan opinions online.

Both sets of players left the pitch during Tuesday's Champions League clash after Istanbul assistant manager Pierre Webo claimed fourth official Sebastian Coltescu aimed a racist remark at him.

According to The Independent, Coltescu used the word "negru" (meaning black in Romanian) when identifying Webo. His reply was: "Why did you say negro?" Istanbul substitute Demba Ba was widely praised for challenging the official, saying: "Why, when you mention a black guy, do you have to say this black guy?"

Richards, while backing Ba and the players who walked off, cautioned against labelling the official racist, however.

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"It's a difficult one, to be honest. Demba Ba was within his rights to say what he said," said Richards on CBS Sports. "I think that's the whole problem in society, we're trying to label people as different.

"But, playing devil's advocate, it's difficult, because if we're in a room like we are now, and someone says 'the black person' or 'the black one', then I wouldn't take offence to that. So without knowing the context in which the word was used, it's very difficult to jump on either bandwagon."

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Richards further added: "In Romania... the word 'negru' means black. It's difficult. The problem with racism, when a racial moment happens, we don't really deal with it, and then we have something that might have been or might not have been, it is two different things. So we can't assume that just because he said that he was being racist.

"Was he being ignorant? Probably. Racist? I'm not sure, and that's just off the evidence I've been given."

A balanced take from Richards, which has provoked a divided opinion online.

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While some have backed the former Manchester City and England defender, others have said he just hasn't grasped the situation.

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"Micah is 100% right here. The ref could've used better language, but calling someone black isn't racist," said one fan.

Another pointed out: "I don't go around calling people by their skin colour so I don't expect that in return."

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PSG eventually won the match, which was restarted on Wednesday, 5-1 and topped Group H while Istanbul Basaksehir exited the Champions League.

Image credit: CBS Sports/PA Sport

Topics: Football News, Micah Richards, Football, PSG, Istanbul Basaksehir, Champions League, Paris Saint Germain

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.