UK

Four 'Racist' Chelsea Fans Who Stopped Black Man Boarding Paris Metro Banned From Matches

22/07/2015 14:01 BST | Updated 22/07/2015 14:59 BST

Four Chelsea fans accused of preventing a black man from boarding the Paris Metro while chanting that they were "racist" have been banned from attending football matches for up to five years.

Richard Barklie, Joshua Parsons, William Simpson and Jordan Munday were caught on video after Chelsea's Champions League match against Paris St-Germain on 17 February, pushing Frenchman Souleymane Sylla off the train before chanting "we're racist and that's the way we like it".

Barklie, from Northern Ireland, and Parsons and Simpson, of Surrey, were banned for five years after appearing at the Stratford Magistrates' Court, and Munday, from Kent, was banned for three years, the BBC reported.

richard barklie

(L to R) Jordan Munday, William Simpson, Richard Barklie and Joshua Parsons have been banned from attending Chelsea games for up to five years

The men are banned from attending both home and away games.

District Judge Gareth Branston said: "This was an abhorrent, nasty, offensive, arrogant and utterly unacceptable behaviour and cannot be allowed in modern, civilised society.

He added: "It must be stamped out."

He said Barklie, a former policeman in Northern Ireland and a director with the World Human Rights Forum, and Parsons were ringleaders.

The four men had denied they were racist and claimed Mr Sylla was only pushed off the train because it was "packed", not because he is black.

But footage was played to court showing some of the men joining in the racist chanting as the Parisian was pushed.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Sylla told how he was "violently" forced off the train as Chelsea fans jeered and one pointed to his skin colour.

He said: "I again approached the carriage, explaining to this person I wanted to get back on the train.

"He didn't seem to understand what I said to him, and other supporters behind him were shouting and singing in English. As I don't speak English, I didn't understand what they said.

"Another person made a sign indicating to the colour of the skin on his face."

Barklie, who is still pictured on the World Human Rights Forum as a director, admitted twice pushing Mr Sylla – but blamed the Parisian for using "aggression" and shouting as he tried to board.

But judge Branston said Barklie joined in the racist chanting of "John Terry is a racist and that's the way we like it" and said the 50-year-old "proved to be a menace" and had "demonstrated aggressive, disorderly conduct".

Parsons, 20, who used to work for a finance company in Mayfair, leaned out of the train and shouted "where were you in World War Two?" and "Fuck the IRA", the court heard.

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The Chelsea fans push Frenchman Souleymane Sylla out of the train

The judge said Parsons displayed "aggressive and disorderly conduct as part of a pack of Chelsea fans".

Munday, 20, is said to have joined in the racist chanting, an allegation he denied, insisting he was just "breathing".

He had earlier "fronted up" a man who was walking through Paris, pushing him twice before being told to calm down by police, the court heard.

Simpson, 26, also played a part in pushing Mr Sylla off the metro train. He has previously been arrested twice before for race-connected crimes, including once allegedly calling a taxi driver a "fucken Paki".

The group all denied being racist and fought the Metropolitan Police's attempt to give them a football banning order.

Another Chelsea supporter, Dean Callis, 32, of Islington had earlier being banned for five years.

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After the incident Chelsea released a statement condemning the men's actions.

"Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society," the club said.

"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."

chelsea fans racist

They chanted a racist song

Paul Nolan, a British expat who filmed the incident on his phone, said the train had been stopped for around three minutes when Sylla arrived on the platform and tried to get on.

Mr Nolan told The Guardian: "He was obviously completely shocked when they pushed him off. I don't think he realised who they were. He then tried to get on again and got pushed off a second time.

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Chelsea has said it is willing to ban the fans

"I was just completely appalled by it and so that's why I tried to catch some of it on my phone, although I was a bit self-conscious as it was getting quite aggressive and I overhead one of the Chelsea fans say something about stabbing someone. I think he was referring to a Paris St Germain supporter who was on the platform."