The chairman of Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has unreservedly condemned the racist chanting of Chelsea fans captured on video before Tuesday’s Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain.
Tim Rolls, who attended the game in Paris, but did not witness the chanting on the city’s Metro, said that the actions of some of the supporters were “depressing”. He added that those responsible did not reflect the attitudes and views of the majority of the 2,000 Chelsea fans who went to France.
Rolls said: “We, the supporters’ trust, condemn the chanting and we support what the club have said about it. It is half a dozen people. I haven’t seen an incident of that type for decades in football. It is a great shame that it happened and it can never be justified or defended.”
He added: “The point has to be made they were 2,000 Chelsea fans there. The vast majority are not racist. We are a multi-racial club, you only have to look at our team. It is depressing that this has happened. It has to be put in a wider context. The vast majority of fans are not racist.”
Chelsea have promised to ban any supporters caught on a video published online by The Guardian which shows some of their fans twice pushing a black man off a carriage waiting at the platform of a Paris Metro station. The fans can be heard chanting, “We’re racist, we’re racist, we’re racist – and that’s the way we like it”
The Metropolitan police said today that it would study the footage to see if it could implement football banning orders on those responsible, which would prevent them from travelling abroad for future matches. The Met also said it would assist French police in “any action they choose to take”.
Uefa, the governing body for European football, said that it could not sanction the club because the incident took place outside the stadium.
Rolls said that many Chelsea fans were unable to get into the ground until after kick-off because French police stopped letting them in at one point. There were also reports that teargas was used on Chelsea supporters. “I have heard stories of teargas and people being cracked over the head,” he said.
Rolls travelled to and from the game in a supporters’ coach and did not witness any of the incidents on the Paris Metro.
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