Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Four Chelsea fans get suspended jail terms for Paris Metro incident

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Jan 2017

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Four Chelsea fans have been given suspended prison sentences after being found guilty of aggravated violence against a black man at a Paris Metro station.

The men were ordered to face a hearing in France following the incident that occurred prior to Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain in February 2015.

Joshua Parsons, 22, and James Fairbairn, 25, who attended the hearing, had denied that their actions were racially motivated. Richard Barklie, a 52-year-old former policeman, and 27-year-old William Simpson were tried in absentia.

It is reported that all four were given suspended custodial terms of between six and 12 months and ordered to pay €10,000 to the victim.

CCTV and mobile phone footage of the incident showed 33-year-old Souleymane Sylla being repeatedly pushed away from the doors as he tried to board a busy carriage at the Richelieu-Drouot station, as fans made their way to Parc des Princes.

A number of supporters can be heard chanting “we’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it” in the video.

Sylla’s solicitor, Jim Michel-Gabriel, told the court that the crime was the definition of “hatred and unashamed racism”, according to The Guardian.

Chelsea condemned the incident and issued life bans to all four individuals, who were also barred from football stadiums across Britain.

Sylla, who took six months off work and did not use the Metro again for a year because of the incident, accepted an invitation from PSG to attend a Champions League knockout match with Chelsea in 2016.

“These people don’t represent football, these people represent hatred and racism,” he said of the perpetrators.

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