Soccer-PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir players take a knee before Champions League kickoff

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Paris St Germain v Istanbul Basaksehir F.K. - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - December 9, 2020 Paris St Germain players wearing anti-racism t-shirts during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) -Paris St Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir players, as well as the three onfield match officials, took a knee before their rescheduled Champions League game restarted on Wednesday.

The match had been suspended on Tuesday when the players walked off in protest after the Turkish club accused a match official of racism.

Players also held their fists in the air as they gathered around the centre circle and wore 'No to racism' t-shirts during the warm-up.

UEFA said on Wednesday that it had appointed an Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector to "conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding the incident" on Tuesday.

The incident was sparked when Basaksehir's assistant coach Pierre Webo was shown a red card for protesting against a refereeing decision and the Turkish side then alleged that the Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu used a racist term towards the Cameroonian.

The four Romanian match officials were replaced by UEFA for Wednesday's re-start.

Taking a knee was popularised by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and gained steam as an anti-racism protest following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Two banners carrying anti-racism messages were placed in the Auteuil tribune of the Parc des Princes stadium. The first one read 'Support to Mr Webo... Proud of the players... Against racism', with the second one saying 'Paris united against racism'.

UEFA had two banners of their own with both clubs' logos, reading 'No to racism', one in French and the other in English.

The game is being played without spectators as part of restrictions in France to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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