Resumption of the PSG match: “We have to be examples”

The rouste (5-1), the qualification, the first place in a group from which he almost never left. And Kylian Mbappé who has scored his first two goals in the Champions League for nearly a year. In short, a slew of reasons conducive to celebration for PSG, after its success against Basaksehir. But the historic interruption of the day before – which saw the players of both teams leave the field after a quarter of an hour, in protest after a racist insult uttered by the fourth referee – remained too ingrained in people’s minds so that Neymar’s teammates have the head to return the locker room.

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One only had to see the entry of the players on the lawn of the Parc des Princes to understand: mines closed, the players and the new appointed referees gathered in the central circle during the broadcast of the famous anthem of the competition , kneeling on the ground, a gesture that has become a symbol of the “Black Lives Matter” movement against racism and police violence. The majority of them, including Mbappé and Neymar, also raised their fists and for some lowered their heads.

Until the end of the meeting, impossible to know in what state of mind were the players of the two teams. Even the traditional half-time point, where a player takes a quarter of an hour’s break to answer two or three questions, has been dodged.

Double scorer Wednesday, Mbappé, who had declared «we can’t play with this guy» (“We can’t play with this guy”, pointing to the assistant referee), symbolically offered his jersey to Basaksehir assistant coach Achille Pierre Webo – furious at being named as “a black” by the assistant referee on Tuesday – just like his compatriot Presnel Kimpembe, after this historic meeting.

It was finally Marco Verratti who was the first to return to the incident of the day before and the desire of the players to return to the locker room, synonymous with stopping the match: “It was hard for everyone, for us players on the pitch but also for those watching the game. This story must not happen. We have to be examples. Especially since we are followed by millions of people. That’s why we made a bit of a gesture by deciding not to play with the other team, estimated the Italian midfielder at the microphone of RMC Sport. The fourth official should be punished for setting an example for everyone and trying to make things happen. The smartest thing was to stop. ”

“We’re moving forward”

The latter confirms that the players did not want to resume the match as long as the fourth referee was officiating. “We will try to be even more examples in the future. He made a mistake, he must be punished, whether it is a player, a spectator or a referee. It’s a personal question for everyone, some players were even more shocked, touched, explained Verratti. There were no conditions yesterday to finish the match. There are more important things in life. We are happy with the match, happy to have won and we are moving forward. “

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First Parisian to come to support Webo, Neymar was also invited to react. If he did not return to the events of Tuesday, the Brazilian superstar, author of a hat-trick on Wednesday, however had important words concerning his future within the club: “I am very happy here in Paris. I am very happy at the club, with my teammates. The idea of ​​leaving does not cross my mind. We need to talk. We have a very good relationship, see what happens in the future. ” Everything is going for the best at PSG. There was just nothing to celebrate this Wednesday at the Park.

Romain Métairie




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