18 Feb 2015

Police launch inquiry after Chelsea fans were filmed singing racist chant and preventing a black man from boarding train

Police in Paris and London have launched investigations after Chelsea supporters were filmed singing a racist chant and preventing a black man from boarding the Paris m├ętro.

A source in the Paris public prosecutor’s office confirmed to the Guardian that police had begun an investigation on Wednesday into crimes of racial violence on public transport. In London, Scotland Yard said it would study the video in an attempt to identify those involved.

The footage shows a man repeatedly trying to squeeze on to a busy train, only to be forcefully shoved out of the door and back on to the platform at the Richelieu–Drouot station before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

The fans on the train are then heard chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it,” while a black woman is standing in front of them.

The Paris inquiry was being handled by a police branch that specialises in crimes related to football hooliganism. The source said it was not the first time the Paris police had pursued foreign football supporters for breaking the law in France.

The first challenge for the inquiry would be to identify the Chelsea supporters shown in the video and also to find the victim – the black man shown being prevented from boarding the train at Richelieu-Druout station.

If found guilty, those responsible could face at least three years in prison and a fine of €45,000.

Met police officers travelled to Paris for the game to minimise any trouble involving Chelsea fans. The force has a database of alleged troublemakers linked to Chelsea and will see if any of those people are pictured in the video. They will also use intelligence sources to help French police.

The Met said it took episodes of British football fans being involved in criminality or disorder “very seriously”, even if the incidents took place abroad.

If it identifies those involved in the train incident, the Met said it would consider applying for orders to stop them travelling to future football games.
The Met said: “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.

“We will, of course, assist French authorities to identify the people involved and support them in any action they choose to take. At the same time we will be working closely with Chelsea football club.” 
Credit: Guardian Sport

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