• France's news in English

Paris police to probe 'racist' Chelsea fans

The Local · 18 Feb 2015, 09:27

Published: 18 Feb 2015 09:27 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The incident was filmed at Richelieu – Drouot Metro station on Tuesday, before the English club's Champions League clash against PSG at the Parc des Princes stadium to the west of Paris.
In the video, which was sent to the Guardian newspaper, an unidentified black man tries to board the packed train only to be physically pushed away by the Chelsea supporters. Other passengers look on. 
The man repeatedly tries to squeeze into the carriage and they aggressively push him back. The film then cuts to the men chanting: "We're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it!"

After the video went viral across the web and caused outrage among viewers the French police announced on Wednesday they had opened a probe into "deliberate racial violence on public transport".
The probe will be handled by the specialist STADE team at Paris police which investigate incidents of hooliganism. 
"We will work with British police, these people must be known," a French police source told AFP.
London police confirmed that they would assist the French investigation.
"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," said a New Scotland Yard statement.
For their part Chelsea have condemned the actions of the fans. 
"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."
The video was filmed by British expat Paul Nolan, who told The Guardian that he was "completely appalled" by what he saw, adding that he felt unsafe filming. 
"It was getting quite aggressive and I overhead one of the Chelsea fans say something about stabbing someone. I think he was referring to a Paris Saint-Germain supporter who was on the platform.”
When Chelsea played PSG in last year's competition around one hundred Chelsea fans were involved in running battles with PSG fans in the centre of Paris, in front of shocked locals.
Story continues below…

Following the incident on the Paris Metro European football's governing body UEFA condemned the fans' behaviour, but said that because it had occurred outside the stadium, it was not within its jurisdiction to act upon it.

"UEFA condemns all forms of discrimination and we are appalled by the incident which took place in the Paris Metro on Tuesday," the organisation said in a statement.

"However, as it occurred away from the stadium, it is outside UEFA's remit to act. It is a matter for the local authorities to investigate further and UEFA supports any action that is taken."

Sepp Blatter, president of world governing body FIFA, also expressed disgust over what had happened.

"I also condemn the actions of a small group of Chelsea fans in Paris," he wrote on Twitter. "There is no place for racism in football!"

Chelsea fanzine editor David Johnstone expressed fears for the club's reputation in light of the incident.

"I think the majority of Chelsea supporters are disgusted by what's happened," he told BBC radio.

"The 2,000 who were in Paris today (Tuesday) support a Jewish-owned football team where the majority of players are black and foreign."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available