Chelsea ban three fans for racist behaviour in Paris
Chelsea have taken the first steps towards punishing those supporters of the club responsible for the racist behaviour on the Paris Métro on Tuesday evening by suspending three fans from attending home games while they are investigated.
The club announced at 6.30pm yesterday that the three had been suspended from watching games at Stamford Bridge while further investigations took place into events at the Richelieu-Drouot station ahead of the Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain.
In a statement, the club said: "If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life. We have received substantial information to date following our witness appeal and we are grateful to the many Chelsea supporters who have provided information so far."
The club are confident they have made progress in identifying the culprits from the mobile phone video of the incident, in which a black man was pushed off a stationary train carriage by Chelsea supporters who then chanted "We're racist - and that's the way we like it". However, the club are concerned that innocent bystanders in the carriage should not be implicated.
Chelsea will make an announcement today ahead of manager Jose Mourinho's press conference at Cobham about the extent of their investigations so far. Mourinho himself will also take questions on the incident and express the club's shock at having their name and reputation tarnished by the supporters involved.
One of the Chelsea supporters identified as having been in the carriage, Josh Parsons, 21, from Surrey, was suspended by his employer yesterday while they investigated the extent to which he was involved in the incident.
The man who attempted to board the train but was twice thrust back out of the carriage by the Chelsea supporters was interviewed by 'Le Parisien'.
Giving his name only as Souleymane S, he said that he wanted the fans in question to be prosecuted and made a formal complaint to the French authorities, who are working with their British counterparts.
Souleymane S said: "These people have to be found, punished and locked up." (© Independent News Service)