CHELSEA have warned they are prepared to ban any fans who prevented a black man from boarding a train in Paris and chanted: “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
Footage posted on the Guardian website shows the commuter trying to board a Metro train in the French capital but he is blocked by what appears to be a group of Chelsea fans travelling to the Parc des Princes for the 1-1 draw with Paris St Germain on Tuesday night.
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It is not confirmed if the men on the train were Chelsea supporters heading to the Champions League clash, but the club released a statement condemning the incident and said they will take action if supporters are found to be involved.
“Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society,” the club said, according to the Guardian.
“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.”
Former England player Stan Collymore took to social media to call for the men to be banned if they are Chelsea fans, saying: “Chelsea fans. Save your spite for those on the train, I’m sure you’ll want to see them banned from holding season tickets at your club.”
Chelsea fanzine editor David Johnstone believes the incident could have severe consequences for the club’s reputation.
“Because of the actions of possibly half a dozen people on a Metro train in Paris all the supporters are going to be labelled as racist,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.
“I think the majority of Chelsea supporters are disgusted by what’s happened. The 2,000 who were in Paris today support a Jewish-owned football team where the majority of players are black and foreign.”
In the video the group of men are seen gesturing at the commuter and pushing him out of the carriage when he tries to step in.
On a second attempt the man pointed to a space where he could stand but is pushed away again as he steps forward, before the group erupt into chanting while other train users look on from the platform bewildered.
The Guardian reported that Paul Nolan, a British expatriate, filmed the clip on his phone on his way home from work.
“The doors were open and I could see and hear that a lot of chanting was going on,” he told the newspaper. “It looked like it was quite aggressive so I just took out by phone to record it.”
He added: “He (the commuter) was obviously completely shocked when they pushed him off. I don’t think he realised who they were. He then tried to get on again and got pushed off a second time.
“I was just completely appalled by it and so that’s why I tried to catch some of it on my phone, although I was a bit self-conscious as it was getting quite aggressive and I overheard one of the Chelsea fans say something about stabbing someone. I think he was referring to a Paris St-Germain [fan].”