Hollande, PSG players support man racially abused by fans

AP News
Posted: Feb 21, 2015 3:21 PM

PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande has spoken with the man who was racially abused by Chelsea supporters at a train station in Paris.

Chelsea fans en route to a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain were filmed stopping the man, Souleymane S, who is black and whose last name has not been revealed, from boarding an underground train on Tuesday, then chanting: "We're racist and that's the way we like it."

Hollande "had a discussion with Souleymane S. and gave him his full support following the odious racist aggression he suffered," the French presidential palace said on its Twitter account on Saturday.

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and captain Thiago Silva added their condemnation of the incident, and expect their club to invite the man to a game.

Silva also praised Chelsea for its swift action in suspending five fans from attending games at Stamford Bridge.

After PSG's 3-1 home win against Toulouse on Saturday, Ibrahimovic told The Associated Press, "I haven't seen (the incident). I just heard about it ... not acceptable."

Chelsea has invited Souleymane to Stamford Bridge for the return leg against PSG. But Souleymane told Le Parisien newspaper he won't attend the game.

"I appreciate Mr. (Jose) Mourinho's invitation, but I can't get my head around being in a stadium at the moment," he said.

Silva wants PSG to do the same as Chelsea, and invite Souleymane to a game in the near future.

"Of course. I think the president and the coach will take the decision. It's a very good thing to do," Silva said.

"(The incident is) unbelievable. I am friends with many players of color and it's not easy to see something like this," he added. "It's difficult to speak about it. It's not everyone — 10 people — it's not Chelsea supporters (in general). Chelsea have done a good thing in identifying the supporters and stopping them from entering Stamford Bridge."

Chelsea was still investigating the abuse, which has drawn widespread scorn from the United Nations to British Prime Minister David Cameron and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.