Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Chelsea to invite abused man for return game in London

Published:Saturday | February 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Chelsea plans to invite the black man abused by its supporters at a French metro station before a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain this week to their London stadium for the return leg.

The offer came as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho discussed the Paris incident for the first time, saying yesterday: "I feel ashamed with being connected with these sad things."

A group of Chelsea fans were filmed stopping the man from boarding a Paris metro train on Tuesday and then chanting: "We're racist and that's the way we like it."

"We feel very sorry about it," Mourinho said at Chelsea's training ground. "We want to fight it. We feel ashamed and we want to apologise to the gentleman."

The man has been identified as Souleymane S. by Le Parisien newspaper.

"We are writing to Souleymane," Chelsea spokesman Steve Atkins said during Mourinho's press conference. "We are inviting him and his family as guests to the return leg against Paris Saint-Germain (next month). We hope he will take up that offer."

The man told the BBC yesterday that he was yet to hear from Chelsea, which is currently the top team in the Premier League.


Across London, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is French, said the incident showed how racism remains "society's problem."

"More intelligent people than myself think about that and nobody has found a miraculous solution. It certainly starts from childhood education and an open-minded attitude," Wenger said.

"There is a danger of having radical people in every society. Since I observed youth movements, there are always certain people who are ready for radical solutions and most of the time you have to control them."

Chelsea continue to investigate the incident, announcing yesterday that two additional people had been suspended from attending their Stamford Bridge stadium. Three people were also suspended on Thursday from attending games, and they could all face life bans from the club.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter described the Chelsea fans as "incomprehensible" in his column in the organisation's weekly magazine, which also highlighted criticism of former Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi this week.

Sacchi was denounced for saying that "there are too many coloured players" in the youth sides of Italian clubs, which is affecting "national pride and identity."