Chelsea racist chanting: The Sun names witness
Victim says that he will file official complaint as search continues for Chelsea fans seen in video
As the fallout continues from Tuesday's disturbing footage of a group of Chelsea fans pushing a black man out of a Paris metro train, The Sun has identified one of those inside the carriage as 21-year-old Josh Parsons.
As the newspaper makes clear in its exclusive story, there is no suggestion that Parsons was involved in the pushing or chanting but "he will be a key witness for cops".
Described by the Sun as a former pupil at the prestigious Millfield public school, Parson works for the Business and Commercial Finance Club in Mayfair, central London, and "until recently he lived in a relative's country pile worth £1.5million".
Parsons can clearly be seen in the video distributed around the world on Wednesday after it was filmed by a disgusted British expatriate present on the platform of Richelieu-Drouot metro station.
Parsons was unavailable for comment when reporters contacted him on Wednesday evening and his profiles on social media sites in which he displayed his allegiance to Chelsea were removed.
The Sun says that British police were in Paris on Wednesday to discuss the incident and "to plan arrests". If charged and convicted, the culprits could face up to three years in a French prison or a fine of £30,000.
One of those present in the carriage, 16-year-old Mitchell McCoy, said he was not involved in the incident but insisted there was no racist motive.
"He was not turned away for being black, there was simply not enough space," McCoy told the Press Association, as reported in the Independent. "There were 40 or 50 Chelsea fans in the carriage, and just a few French people." The teenager also said the chants of "We're racist and that's the way we like it", audible in the video clip, were not directed at the passenger. "That song was about John Terry," explained McCoy. (The Chelsea captain was banned for four matches and fined in 2012 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand). "The only words I know is 'he's a racist, he's a racist' and I don't know the rest," said the teenager.
Meanwhile the man at the centre of the storm has been identified by a French tabloid as Souleymane, a 33-year-old Parisian who was travelling home to his family after work.
"I understood that they were Chelsea fans and I made the connection with the PSG match, which was taking place the same evening… [but] I don't speak a word of English," he told the paper.
Unable to board the train, Souleymane, a married father of three, caught the following one. "I returned home without mentioning this story to anyone, neither my wife, nor my children."
After confirming that he will be lodging an official complaint with the police, Souleymane said: "What do I say to my children? That daddy was jostled in the metro because he's black?"
Chelsea fans chanting 'we're racist' push black man off train
Shocking amateur video footage has emerged showing a group of Chelsea football fans preventing a black man from boarding a carriage in the Paris Metro.
Chelsea were in the French capital on Tuesday night for their Champions League clash with Paris Saint Germain when a number of their fans appear to have been involved in the racist incident prior to kick-off.The footage was filmed by British expatriate Paul Nolan, who subsequently handed the clip to The Guardian, explaining the sequence of events that unfolded at the Richelieu-Drouot Metro station, a mile south of the Gare du Nord.
"The doors were open and I could see and hear that a lot of chanting was going on," said Nolan. "It looked like it was quite aggressive so I just took out by phone to record it."
Nolan described the black man as "completely shocked" when he realised why his path had been blocked. "I don't think he realised who they were. He then tried to get on again and got pushed off a second time."According to Nolan the atmosphere on the platform was aggressive and he overhead one Chelsea fan "say something about stabbing someone". In the clip a group of people can be heard singing: "We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it."Chelsea reacted swiftly to the release of the footage, issuing a statement in which they said: "Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders."
According to The Independent, the incident could result in a Uefa investigation if they decide an "event that occurred away from the stadium was within its remit". Chelsea's punishment could be a fine and a warning from the governing body as to the future behaviour of its fans.