Human rights official apologizes for role in Paris Metro incident
An English human rights official apologized for his role in the incident involving Chelsea soccer fans refusing to let a black man on a Paris Metro train before last week’s Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain.
A group of fans on the train were seen on video pushing a 33-year-old man known as Souleymane S. off the train as he tried to board. The fans chanted, “We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it."
Richard Barklie, a director of the World Human Rights Forum, admitted that he was involved in the incident, but denies he took part in the chant.
London's Metropolitan Police said over the weekend that it had identified three men connected to the incident.
Barklie, a Chelsea season ticket holder and former Northern Ireland police officer, says he doesn’t know the other two individuals authorities have identified.
"He has an account to give to police which will explain the context and circumstances as they prevailed at that particular time. In the meantime pending that, he wants to put on record his sincerest apologies for the trauma and stress suffered by Mr. Souleymane,” Barklie's solicitor Kevin Winters said.
"As someone who has spent years working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and India he can point to a CV in human rights work which undermines any suggestion he is racist,” Winters added.
Chelsea condemned the abuse and suspended three people from attending matches at Stamford Bridge. The club will issue lifetime bans depending on evidence.
- Scooby Axson