Wednesday 13 December 2017

Chelsea fans' 'proud to be racist' taunts spark furore

A still from the video showing Chelsea fans stopping a black man getting on a train in Paris.
A still from the video showing Chelsea fans stopping a black man getting on a train in Paris.

Mike Collett

The Paris prosecutor's office has started an investigation to find the Chelsea fans responsible for chanting "we're racist and that's the way we like it" as they stopped a black man boarding a Paris train on Tuesday.

The incident was captured on video by another passenger on the platform at the Richelieu-Drouot metro station before Chelsea played Paris St Germain in a Champions League match at the Parc des Princes in the French capital.

Police said no arrests were made in relation to the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, but amateur footage posted on 'The Guardian' newspaper website clearly showed the incident, which has been widely condemned by the soccer authorities including FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Chelsea.

The Metropolitan Police in London have appealed for anyone with information to come forward and said in a statement that they "took offences of this nature seriously no matter where they occur".

The statement added: "We will examine the footage with a view to seeing if we can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from travelling to future matches."

With the Paris prosecutor's office opening a case, both the French and British police forces said they would co-operate in identifying those involved.

The men in the video could be seen and heard chanting "we're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it," as they stopped the man boarding their carriage - pushing him back on to the platform.

Premier League leaders Chelsea, making their second visit to Paris for a Champions League match in less than a year, condemned the incident in a statement yesterday.

"Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society," the club's statement said.

"We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members, the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders."

Mr Blatter, the head of soccer's world governing body which has a zero tolerance policy towards racists, tweeted: "I also condemn the actions of a small group of Chelsea fans in Paris. There is no place for racism in football."

Irish Independent

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