Former Senegal international Ousmane N'Doye has claimed he has brokered peace between Demba Ba and Sebastian Coltescu.
Coltescu and Ba were two of the leading figures in the controversial Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month that saw the game halted for 24 hours after the two sides side walked off the pitch due to an alleged racist incident.
Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo was sent off for his reaction to what he perceived as racial abuse from Coltescu, the game’s fourth official.
Ba, who was on the bench for Basaksehir at the controversial moment, had an exchange of words with the official over what he heard.
N'Doye witnessed the incident and on account of his background playing in Coltescu's native Romania and being a former Senegal national alongside Ba, he felt he was well placed to act as an intermediary.
The 42-year-old contacted Coltescu and Ba and put them in touch for a conversation which lasted over half an hour and ended on a positive footing.
“When I was in Romania, I met a lot of people there, I know how Romania works,” N'Doye told Sport.ro. “If something happens to someone you know about, you have to say something. I saw Sebi's character at matches – my favourite referees know each other.
“I found out Coltescu's number and I told him I was with him. I know he's not racist at all. It was a misunderstanding. I talked to Demba Ba, he's my very good friend. I provided the assist for his first goal with the national team.
“I explained to him and he understood very well. I gave Sebi his number and I told him to call him to talk.”
N'Doye was not party to the conversation, but says both Coltescu and Ba called him back to say the conversation was positive and amicable.
“They talked and they got along very well,” N'Doye said. “They both called me back and told me they were very happy. Demba told me that Sebi is a very good man, as did Coltescu about Demba. The two got along.”
N’Doye claims he does not want any recognition for what he did, merely putting the two in touch and finding common ground was reward enough.
“I don't want a prize unless it's polenta! I'm tired because I've been called by journalists everywhere and with newspapers from Senegal,” he said.
“I've never seen racism in Romania – people were shocked when they found out what I said about Romania. It's my country!
“I explained that to Demba. He said that he had not heard anything bad from Coltescu but believed that the word 'black' should not be used in the stadium. He did not say it was racism, he said that you can't use that word in the stadium and Sebi understood that.”