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Paris: Victim reports Chelsea fans to police

Ben McPartland · 19 Feb 2015, 13:06

Published: 19 Feb 2015 13:06 GMT+01:00

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The man in the video, which went viral this week, told French newspaper Le Parisien that he had no idea the incident had been filmed nor that it had been causing waves internationally. 

He said that the attention and support he has received prompted him to report the racist fans to the police on Thursday.

"I didn't know I was being filmed. The fact that it's being talked about has given me the courage to go and file a complaint with the police," Souleymane S, said.

He added that as he does not speak a word of English, he didn't know what the football fans were saying to him. 

"I knew they were supporters of Chelsea because I knew they were playing PSG the same evening. I realised they targeted me because of the colour of my skin,” the operations manager told Le Parisien newspaper.

The amateur video footage shows Souleymane repeatedly pushed back off the train, before the fans break into a song of “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it".

“I have lived with racism so what happened didn’t really surprise me, even if it was a first on the Metro,” he said.

The clip of Soulemayne being manhandled off the metro train at Richelieu-Drouot station, near where he works, has caused anger on both sides of the English Channel among both football chiefs and politicians.

On Wednesday evening UK Prime Minister David Cameron described the incident as “extremely worrying and disturbing”.

Soulemayne himself had no idea that he was at the centre of the latest racism row engulfing English football and had not even seen the video of the incident, until he was made aware of it by Le Parisien.

“In the pushing and shoving, I lost my mobile phone. After the train left, I got on the next one and went home. I didn’t speak about this story to anyone, neither my wife nor my children” he said.

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“What could I say to them, the “Dad was pushed off the metro because he was black?” That would serve nothing,” he said.

Soulemayne, told Le Parisien that now having viewed the video he intends to press charges against the fans and will visit a police station in Paris to lodge a formal complaint.

“These people, these English supporters, must be found, punished and locked up. What happened cannot go unpunished.”

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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