LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea have issued a strongly worded apology to the black man who was racially abused by their fans before Tuesday’s Champions League match at Paris St Germain.
Video footage showed a man, identified only as Souleymane, being prevented from boarding a metro train by Chelsea supporters chanting racist comments.
“I would like to make clear on behalf of everyone at the club our disgust with regards to the incident that took place on the Paris subway on Tuesday evening,” Chelsea’s head of communications Steve Atkins said in a club statement on Friday.
“We were appalled by what we saw. The club would also like to apologise unreservedly to Souleymane for the behaviour of a small number of individuals and their unforgivable actions towards him.”
Atkins said Chelsea had been co-operating fully with the London and Paris police in their ongoing investigation and would continue to do so.
“We have also been conducting our own investigation and all information from that is being shared with the police,” Atkins added.
“We announced last night that we have suspended three individuals from Stamford Bridge pending the completion of the investigation.
“Should evidence show they are guilty the club will ban them for life.”
Atkins said it was only right that Chelsea complete their investigation to establish all the facts.
“The people involved in that incident in Paris do not represent Chelsea Football Club,” he said.
“They do not stand for the values of this club and they have no place at this club.”
“This has been echoed loud and clear by the vast majority of Chelsea supporters. We’d like to thank the many Chelsea fans that have come forward with information in this case.”