Chelsea issue 'unreserved apology' for fans' racist act in Paris
Chelsea have released a statement regarding the incident which saw fans of the club push a black man off an underground train in Paris ahead of their 1-1 Champions League draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
In the statement Steve Atkins apologised 'unreservedly' to the victim. He also says that the club are cooperating with both the Metropolitan and French Police as well as conducting their own investigation.
The club have suspended three fans from Stamford Bridge with the intention of issuing lifetime bans should sufficient evidence emerge of fans involvement.
Also, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he is “ashamed” of the Chelsea fans who prevented a black man from boarding a Paris train before their Champions League tie on Tuesday.
Amateur video showed a man being pushed from the Metro train while a group chants, “we're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it”.
Blues boss Mourinho said: “I felt ashamed when I found out but these supporters do not represent the club.”
Chelsea say they are “appalled” and have apologised to the victim.
The incident took place prior to Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Paris St-Germain on Tuesday evening and was filmed by British expatriate Paul Nolan.
Mourinho said: “The dressing room reacted as I did – with disappointment and they condemn the situation and support the gentleman involved and they feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn't because these people do not belong to Chelsea Football Club.
The victim, a 33-year-old man named as Souleymane S, told French newspaper Le Parisien: “These people, these English fans… should be locked up.”
A Chelsea spokesman said the club were writing to Souleymane to “apologise unreservedly” and invite him to attend a game as their guest.
European football's governing body Uefa said it was “appalled” by the incident but added: “As it occurred away from the stadium it is outside Uefa's remit to act.”
Sepp Blatter, president of world football's governing body Fifa, responded by tweeting that there was “no place for racism in football”.
QPR boss Chris Ramsey, the only black manager in the Premier League, said those involved were “not fans of football” and Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger described the Paris scenes as “pathetic and dreadful”.
The Metropolitan Police in London have appealed for anyone with information regarding the incident to come forward.
In Mourinho's weekly press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League match at Burnley, the Portuguese also addressed his contract situation at Chelsea and compatriot Luis Figo running for the Fifa presidency.
Mourinho on John Terry's contract
“Everybody wants to stay, especially him. He's been here all his life. He accepted the politics here that after a certain age to go year by year [with contracts]. He accepted it with a smile and as a challenge.
“Last season he won that challenge by performing so well and getting a one year extension. This year he is winning the challenge and the right of getting another one year extension. It's what the club wants, what John wants and what is going to happen.”
Mourinho on his own contract situation
“I have two more years [on my contract]. I want to stay, I think the club are happy too. I'm not waiting for offers, not giving any space for speculation or interest from other clubs. I don't need a contract. my story is a non-story. I will stay [for as long as] Mr Abramovich wants me to stay.
Mourinho on Fifa presidential candidate Luis Figo
“I'm proud of him, I've known him since he was a kid. His evolution as a person, his maturity. I'm very proud that a good friend like him reaches this level. You can win or lose the election, maybe Mr Blatter wins, but one thing he has won already is credibility and he wins it by a very nice campaign; polite, clean, without being offensive, showing passion for game. He won credibility as a potential leader of an organisation in football, Fifa or another. The election will be a detail, but
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