Police in Paris and London investigate racist Chelsea supporters
Group of fans prevented a black man from boarding the Paris Metro
Chelsea football fans packed onto a Paris Metro train prevent a passenger from boarding the carriage. They then chanted: “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.” Photo: AFP/Getty
A source in the Paris public prosecutor’s office confirmed that police had begun an investigation into crimes of racial violence on public transport.
In London, Scotland Yard said it would study the video in an attempt to identify those involved.
The footage shows a man repeatedly trying to squeeze on to a busy train, only to be forcefully shoved out of the door and back on to the platform at the Richelieu–Drouot station before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
The fans on the train are then heard chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it,” while a black woman is standing in front of them.
The first challenge for the inquiry would be to identify the Chelsea supporters shown in the video and also to find the victim – the black man shown being prevented from boarding the train at Richelieu-Druout station.
If found guilty, those responsible could face at least three years in prison and a fine of €45,000.
London Metropolitan police officers travelled to Paris for the game to minimise any trouble involving Chelsea fans. The force has a database of alleged troublemakers linked to Chelsea and will see if any of those people are pictured in the video. They will also use intelligence sources to help French police.
If it identifies those involved in the train incident, the Met said it would consider applying for orders to stop them travelling to future football games.
The Met said: “We will examine the footage with a view to seeing if we can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from travelling from future matches.
“We will, of course, assist French authorities to identify the people involved and support them in any action they choose to take. At the same time we will be working closely with Chelsea football club.”
Chelsea issued a statement condemning the fans and said they could be banned. “Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. 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.”
Tim Rolls, of the Chelsea supporters’ association said: “It can never be justified or defended. 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.” Guardian Service