Champions League

‘I’m proud of Demba Ba’ – Weah calls upon Americans to take anti-racism lead

USMNT player Timothy Weah says he wants to see American players take the lead in the fight against racism in soccer.

4:45pm on Wednesday 9th December 2020
Robin Bairner

USMNT striker Timothy Weah has spoken out against racism following the incidents during Basaksehir’s Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain.

Both sets of players walked off the field having only played 13 minutes. The action was sparked by the fourth official allegedly targeting Basaksehir coach Pierre Webo with a racist remark before the Cameroonian was sent off from the bench.

UEFA was unable to find a way for play to continue and the fixture will instead be completed on Thursday under the charge of a new referee.

Weah, who now turns out for Lille but came through the academy at PSG, has condemned what happened but singled out Demba Ba for particular praise as he passionately but respectfully argued his point with the officials.

“I didn’t watch the match but I saw what happened on social media,” he said ahead of Lille’s meeting with Celtic in the Europa League. “Racism has no place in 2020.

“I’m proud of my old team and Istanbul. I think that was the way to react to it. I’m happy that everyone took a stand and I’m proud of Demba Ba’s attitude. Now it’s up to UEFA to react and take sanctions.

“I think American players have a role to play in this challenge. There are many racial problems in the United States, as we have seen recently, and in a country with free speech, we must continue this fight.”

Meanwhile, head coach Christophe Galtier is pleased to see the 20-year-old forward coming back to full fitness after a first year in Lille blighted by hamstring trouble.

“Tim is ready and he is working a lot,” the coach said. “I’ve often seen him down. We’re with him and we help him.

“I liked the difference he made off the bench against Monaco and Sparta Prague.

“Is it because we’re playing Celtic that he will start? No, it’s more his form.”

Lille will win Europa League Group H if they better AC Milan’s result on Thursday.

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