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Video: Chelsea fans push black passenger off Paris métro

© Screengrab

Text by Brenna DALDORPH

Latest update : 2015-02-18

French and British police on Wednesday launched a search for the Chelsea football fans who refused to let a black man board a Paris métro while proclaiming themselves to be "racists". The incident came before a match against Paris Saint-Germain.

The man who filmed Chelsea football club fans preventing a black passenger from boarding the Paris métro while singing, “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it” told FRANCE 24 he was “shocked” by what he had seen.

The video, filmed by British expat Paul Nolan, shows a black man trying to board a crowded métro at the Richelieu–Drouot station in central Paris. The Chelsea fans push him out several times before breaking into their racist chant, seemingly directed at a black woman also standing nearby.

“I started filming because it was a shocking situation. There were several scuffles in the métro between fans, who were hurling abuse at everyone and being hateful and provocative. At one point, they started throwing coins at people standing on the platform. I think the people in the station were confused. No one really dared to get on the métro. Even the métro staff were keeping their distance because it looked like a fight could break out at any point,” Nolan told FRANCE 24.

Nolan had just started filming the scene on his phone when a black passenger approached the train and attempted to board.

“The train had been stalled for about three minutes and the only doors open were the ones by the fans. I think the black man hadn’t really seen them when he tried to board. It would have been nice if people had gotten involved but the Chelsea fans thought they owned the métro and any provocation probably would have ended in violence.”

Chelsea condemns fans

Nolan decided to send his video to The Guardian, which posted it on its website. The video immediately provoked widespread outrage.

“Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society,” the club responded.

Chelsea may face disciplinary action or a fine from The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Nolan said he thought it was important for people to see the video. “The man pushed off the metro is a victim and the Chelsea fans think they can get away with it. I think people should know about it and there should be consequences,” he said.

 

Date created : 2015-02-18

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