The visitors stunned viewers by walking off in Paris after an allegation of racism against one of the officials in the first half, when former Chelsea striker Demba Ba was seen pointing and arguing with one of the refereeing team while a crowd including Brazil striker Neymar tried to discover what had happened.
There were unconfirmed reports of racism after assistant coach Pierre Webo was sent off, and both teams departed back down the tunnel after apparently deciding they were unhappy with the conduct of the officials.
As online footage was watched by more than a million people on Twitter within minutes, Fabrizio Romano, a reporter with more than 2.2 million followers, wrote: “What a shame in Paris.
“The fourth official said ‘the black guy’ when indicating to the referee who should be booked on Istanbul’s bench.
“Istanbul Basaksehir walk off the pitch for racism. [They were saying] ‘why you call him black, man? Istanbul players are literally furious.”
The official team account then tweeted UEFA’s anti-racism logo, which includes the word “respect” in capital letters, repeating the words “no to racism” in their own post.
Fans were divided amid the confusion, with some calling the scenes “disgusting if true” and others questioning whether Basaksehir should have walked off.
“Demba Ba is the f*cking man,” said one account, accompanying its post with the footage of veteran Ba pointing his finger.
As news of the scandal spread across the world, Paris appeared to be ready to return to the pitch for the final group stage game of their Champions League season.
Basaksehir seemed more reluctant, with no sign of their players re-emerging from their locker room more than half an hour after the initial stoppage.
© 2020, paradox. All rights reserved.