The victim of a racist incident involving Chelsea football fans in the Paris métro earlier this week did not know the scene had been filmed and has told French daily Le Parisien he will lodge an official complaint with police.
“I don’t speak a word of English … but it was clear to me they [Chelsea football fans] were picking on me because of the colour of my skin,” the victim, identified by Le Parisien as Souleymane, 33, said.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has started an investigation to find the people responsible for chanting: “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it” as they pushed Souleymane and prevented him from boarding a Paris métro train on Tuesday evening.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has since apologised for the shockingly racist action apparently committed by UK nationals.
Chelsea Football Club has also condemned the incident, but the club itself may still face disciplinary action from The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The scene was captured on video by British expatriate Paul Nolan, another passenger on the platform at the Richelieu-Drouot métro station before English club Chelsea faced Paris St Germain in a Champions League match at the Parc des Princes in the French capital. Nolan told FRANCE 24 that the rowdy fans were already intimidating passengers and staff well before the racist incident took place.
“No one really dared to get on the métro. Even the métro staff were keeping their distance because it looked like a fight could break out at any point,” he said. “It would have been nice if people had gotten involved [to help Souleymane] but the Chelsea fans thought they owned the métro and any provocation probably would have ended in violence.”