Black man blocked by Chelsea fans calls for punishment

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 19, 2015 2:12 PM
Black man blocked by Chelsea fans calls for punishment

PARIS (AP) — A black man who was blocked from boarding a Paris metro train by Chelsea soccer fans chanting racist slogans wants the group to be "found, punished and locked up."

In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, the man — identified only as Souleymane S. — said he had lost his phone in the scuffle in the metro and didn't learn until Wednesday evening that the altercation was filmed. Because he doesn't speak English, he said he didn't fully grasp what the rowdy group was saying — they chanted "we're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it" — but their meaning was clear.

The incident happened Tuesday evening, a short time before Chelsea played Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes in the Champions League.

"They were saying things to me in English and I didn't really understand the meaning of the words. I understood that it had to do with Chelsea fans and made the link with the PSG match that was happening that night. I also clearly understood that they were hassling me because of the color of my skin," he said.

Chelsea said Thursday that three people have been banned from its Stamford Bridge stadium as a result of an investigation into the incident. The trio will be given "banning orders for life" if there is sufficient evidence of their involvement, Chelsea said in a statement.

In a video posted by the Guardian newspaper, the man pushes back and says in French "Can I get on or what?" before again being shoved away.

"Not a single person came to my defense but, in any event, what could they have done?" he said. "I went home without talking about this to anybody, neither my wife nor my children. ... What would I say to my children? That daddy got shoved in the metro because he is black?"

The Paris prosecutor's office said the man brought a formal complaint late Wednesday, and that French and British investigators were working together on the case.

"These people, these English fans, they have to be found, punished and locked up," he said.