Chelsea are planning life bans from Stamford Bridge for the supporters on the Paris Métro filmed shoving a black man out of their carriage on Tuesday night and chanting about being racist.
The club are working to identify the culprits with the Metropolitan Police and the French prosecutors, who will bring criminal charges if the evidence permits. Chelsea have appealed for witnesses and believe that they have already made inroads.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the events as “extremely disturbing and very worrying” in an interview with LBC radio. He said: “It’s obviously potentially a criminal offence and so I’m sure the French police will be looking at it very seriously. I know the British police will give every assistance that they can. I’m sure Chelsea will cooperate with that fully. ” One of those Chelsea fans in the carriage has already come forward to tell the Press Association that the fans were singing about John Terry. Mitchell McCoy, 17, a season-ticket holder, said: “I’m not in the video but I’m on the carriage. We got on the train and at the station where the man was trying to get on we stopped for a couple of minutes.
“He tried to get on and a few people were pushing him off because there wasn’t much space on the carriage. You couldn’t move. People were saying it was because he was black. It’s not true at all. I personally think it’s because he was a PSG fan. Obviously, they didn’t want him anywhere with us. That guy in the video tried to force himself on, so they pushed him off.”
He added: “That song was about John Terry. The only words I know is ‘he’s a racist, he’s a racist’ and I don’t know the rest.” Terry was found guilty of a Football Association charge of racial abuse in 2012 but the commission verdict said he was not a racist.
McCoy said he did not take part in the singing. “It wasn’t just that one time that it happened. It wasn’t just with the black people that we weren’t letting them on. There was white people, women that people weren’t allowing on. There was no space. They were saying, ‘You can’t get on this carriage, you have to go somewhere else’.”
The chairman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Tim Rolls, condemned the chant but said it did not reflect the views of the majority of supporters: “You see people saying, ‘It just shows all Chelsea fans are racist’, but that’s clearly not the case. It was a very small minority. We are a multiracial club, we’ve got players from all over the world, we’ve got a Jewish owner and we have a global fan base.
“This incident will drag the name of the club through the dirt and I think the club have done exactly the right thing to condemn it, as we do. It’s depressing because I haven’t seen behaviour like that connected to football in decades and I go to 50 games a season. It has to be condemned, but it’s not indicative of Chelsea supporters or football supporters in general.”
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