Five Chelsea fans have been banned from all football matches for up to five years over an incident of racism in Paris in February, in court proceedings that concluded Wednesday. The men, including former police officer Richard Barklie, were involved in an incident in which a black Frenchman was repeatedly shoved off a metro train carriage ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Paris Saint Germain.
“This was an abhorrent, nasty, offensive, arrogant and utterly unacceptable behaviour and cannot be allowed in modern, civilised society,” district judge Gareth Branston said at Stratford Magistrates Court in east London. “It must be stamped out,” he said.
Branston said the 50-year-old Barklie and 20-year-old former finance worker Josh Parsons had played a leading role in the racist abuse and in pushing Souleymane Sylla off the train. He accused them of “aggressive, disorderly conduct”.
Barklie had defended himself in court, saying there was no racist motive in pushing Sylla and accusing the Frenchman of “aggression” for trying to board a crowded train. Barklie, Parsons and William Simpson, 26, received court orders banning them from all football matches for five years.
A fourth fan, 20-year-old Jordan Munday, was accused of joining in racist chanting and banned for three years. A fifth fan in the same case, Dean Callis, 32, has already received a five-year banning order for his role.
The incident, captured on the mobile phone of a British expatriate, sparked widespread condemnation and has already prompted Chelsea to ban the five supporters from Stamford Bridge.