Chelsea team officials are banning five supporters who racially abused a black man on the Paris Metro this week, shouting “we’re racist” as they prevented him from boarding a train.
The team issued a statement this week condemning the group, whose actions were caught on a video that later went viral. The club also reached out to the victim, inviting him to a match as a guest.
The incident took place before Chelsea’s Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain, with the fans pushing back a black man identified as French-Mauritian Souleymane S when he tried to enter the train.
The club has since identified the fans, issuing lifetime bans.
“Chelsea Football Club has suspended a further two people from Stamford Bridge as a result of ongoing investigations into the incident on the Paris Metro on Tuesday evening. This makes a total of five to date.
“If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said he was ashamed of the incident, saying he couldn’t make it all the way through the video.
“I watched the image only once. That was enough for me. It was a humiliation for that gentleman. I imagine myself in the same situation,” Mourinho said. “I go home after a day of work and a couple of guys kick me out of my public transport and I cannot go home. It’s a humiliation. It’s difficult to believe this can happen in the modern day, but the reality is that it happens.”
But Mourinho was also quick to say that not all Chelsea fans are like the racist group.
A club spokesman also extended an olive branch to the victim.
“I’d like to make clear, on behalf of everyone at the club, our disgust at the incident. We were appalled by what we saw,” a club spokesman said. “The club would also like to apologize unreservedly to Souleymane for the behavior of a small number of individuals and their unforgivable action towards him. We’re writing to him to apologize and to invite him to come to a game as our guest.”
Souleymane had said in an interview that he believes Chelsea does hold at least partial responsibility for the racial incident on the Paris Metro, noting on Friday that the team had not yet contacted him.