Crime & the Law

Chelsea suspend five people from Stamford Bridge over Paris Metro incident

Youtube footage of Paris Metro incident

The moment a black Frenchman is forcibly prevented from boarding a Paris Metro train by Chelsea fans. Image: Guardian Wires

Chelsea Football Club has announced it’s increasing the number of people being suspended from Stamford Bridge from three to five after invesigating a complaint that a black Franchman was prevented by fans from getting on a Paris Metro and subjected to the chant ‘We’re racist and that’s the way we like it.’

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho said:

On behalf of the owner, the board and everybody at Chelsea Football Club, we would like to make it clear our disgust with regard to the incident that took place on the Paris Metro on Tuesday evening. We were appalled by what we saw. The club would also like to apologise unreservedly to Souleymane for the behaviour of a small number of individuals and their unforgiveable actions towards him.

The incident took place on Tuesday evening- the night of the one all draw with Paris St Germain, and 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.

Logo of Chelsea Football Club. Image: http://www.chelseafc.com

Logo of Chelsea Football Club. Image: http://www.chelseafc.com

Our investigations are on-going and we would request any further information is sent to customer.services@chelseafc.com.

We also continue to cooperate fully with the Metropolitan and Paris police forces who lead the ongoing criminal investigation.

The event was captured on a smartphone and shows Chelsea fans preventing a black man boarding the Paris metro train and chanting: ‘We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.’

It’s been reported that one of the Chelsea fans identified in the video  ‘will not return to work’ until racism inquiry ends.’

The Chief Constable of British Transport Police Paul Crowther  has said more must be done to clamp down on this kind of ‘disgraceful behaviour.’

He said:

Every weekend, the travelling public, law-abiding supporters and rail staff are distressed by anti-social and intimidating behaviour from a minority determined to cause trouble.

I welcome the stance taken by Chelsea football club, but more must be done to clamp down on trouble-makers. I want to engage with the football authorities, the clubs and their supporters, the rail industry, other police forces, sponsors and the media to examine what we can do collectively to eliminate this disturbing behaviour that is blighting communities and those using the transport network.

The Met Police are examining the footage to see if they ‘can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from travelling to future matches.’

Officers from the Met Police’s Football Unit were deployed in Paris to support the French policing operation around the Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea game.

The man being shoved off the train has been identified as Souleymane S and has told the BBC he was humiliated by the experience.

Update 20/2/2015

The Met Police have released CCTV images from Paris so they can ask the public help them identify three men.

They are believed to be Chelsea fans who were travelling to the match against Paris Saint-Germain, at Parc des Princes.

It’s believed they were involved in the racist incident on the Metro at 7.10 pm at Richelieu Drouot station.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

[Update 11.21am, 22/2/2015- Met Police announced they had identified all three men and were no longer seeking the public’s assistance on this matter.]

The Met Police said they were supporting the French Police.

One of the men identified, a former police officer in Northern Ireland, Richard Barklie, issued a statement through his solicitor saying he did not sing any racist songs during the incident.

Mr Barlkie, who works in the field of human rights, expressed his ‘sincerest apologies for the trauma and stress suffered’ by the French commuter Souleymane S.

The statement from solicitor Kevin Winters stated:

He did not participate in racist chanting and singing and condemns any behaviour supporting that. He accepts he was involved in an incident when a person now known to him as Souleymane S was unable to enter a part of the train.

He has an account to give to police which will explain the context and circumstances as they prevailed at that particular time.

Update 21/02/2015

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a number of men, believed to be Chelsea supporters returning from Paris by train, shouted racist chants at St Pancras station.

BTP described it as an ‘unsavoury incident’ – which occurred at around 8.00pm Wednesday, 18th of February 2012- the day after Chelsea played Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

Superintendent Gill Murray of British Transport Police said:

The racist chanting was reported by a member of the public who was disgusted by the behaviour of the men who had travelled on the 18.40 service from Paris Gard du Nord. The men shouted as they walked through the station having alighted from the train a short time earlier.

If you travelled on the train from Paris or were at the station and have information which can assist our investigation I would urge you to get in touch as a matter of urgency.

British Transport Police can be contacted on 0800 40 50 40 or by texting 61016.

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s