Soccer fans summoned to court over Paris racism allegations

    English club Chelsea has suspended five fans suspected of involvement in a racist incident in Paris.

    Story highlights

    • UK's Metropolitan Police summon five people to answer allegations of racism
    • The group, believed to be Chelsea fans, abused a black man on Paris Metro
    • Video of the incident showed a black man being prevented from boarding a train
    • Chelsea has suspended five fans and will issue life bans if they are found guilty

    (CNN)The UK's Metropolitan Police has summoned five football fans to answer allegations of racism.

    It relates to an incident captured on camera, prior to Chelsea's European Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain last month.
      In the French capital before the match an apparent group of Chelsea fans are caught on camera, appearing to prevent a black man boarding the Paris Metro.
      The video, widely shared on social media, also depicted the group of men chanting: "We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it."
      The man in the video was blocked several times from boarding the train and shoved off at least twice. He was later identified as Souleymane S, a 33-year-old Parisian on his way home from work.
      London's Met Police had appealed for help to identify those responsible but in a statement released Wednesday, said five men were due in court later this month.
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      It read: "On 10 March and 11 March, the Metropolitan Police Service served summonses on five men involved in incidents on the Paris Metro before the Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea Champions League fixture on Tuesday 17 February.
      "They have been summonsed to appear at Waltham Forest Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 25 March regarding a police application for football banning orders."
      The authorities have not identified any of the alleged perpetrators.
      Chelsea were quick to condemn the group, saying in a statement after the incident that the chanting was "abhorrent" and something that "has no place in football or society."
      Manager Jose Mourinho said he was "ashamed" by the flashpoint, while the club moved quickly to suspend the five men involved. It said they faced a life ban should they be found guilty.
      "I watched the image the next day, I didn't want to watch again, I watched only once," Mourinho told reporters a few days after the match in Paris.
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      "It is enough for me, it is sad enough for me. It is a humiliation for that gentleman, I imagine myself in that same situation, I want to go home after a day of work and a couple of guys they kick me out of my public transport."
      A club spokesperson also confirmed that Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich was "disgusted" by the incident whilst French President Francois Hollande personally spoke to Souleymane.
      Chelsea invited him to attend the return fixture at Stamford Bridge but he declined the offer.
      "I won't go," he was quoted as saying by French radio station RTL. "They can't buy me with a little piece of paper. I'm not a child.
      "I don't want to sit in that stadium next to those people who pushed me. I still hear the voices of those people who pushed me because of the color of my skin."
      Football banning orders can last for between three and ten years, and any breach can result in a criminal offense, with a prison sentence of up to six months.