A Chelsea fan who was on the Parisian train carriage that forced a black passenger to leave has been revealed, though he claims he was not involved in the racist chanting that took place.
The incident took place when a number of Chelsea fans were travelling via the Paris Metro to the club’s Champions League game against PSG. A video recorded by someone stood on the Metro platform showed the Chelsea fans on board the train refusing to allow a black man to step into the carriage, before they began chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.”
Now 50-year-old Richard Barklie, a former policeman and a current director with human rights organisation The World Human Rights Forum, has been named as one of the men involved in the incident, though he denies any wrongdoing.
Mr. Barklie, who is on the board of directors for the WHRF, has contacted the London Metropolitan police through his lawyers to offer his condolences to the victim of the racist abuse, who is now known as Souleymane S. A statement from Mr. Barklie’s lawyers reads:
“We contacted London Metropolitan police today to advise that our client is happy to assist with inquiries.
Pending formal engagement with police, our client is anxious to put on record his total abhorrence for racism and any activity associated with it.
As someone how has spent years working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and Indian, he can point to a CV in human rights which undermines any suggestion that he is racist.
Mr Barklie is a Chelsea season ticket holder and has travelled to matches for over 20 years now without incident. He travelled alone to the Paris Saint-Germain match and has no knowledge whatsoever of the other people depicted in recent YouTube video releases. He wants to stress that he was not and never has been part of any group or faction of Chelsea supporters
He did not participate in racist chanting and singing and condemns any behaviour supporting that. He accepts he was involved in an incident when a person, now known as Soulemayne S was unable to enter a part of the train.
He readily acknowledges that any judgement on the integrity of his apology will be kept in abeyance pending the outworkings of the investigation.”
Barklie and two other men have been identified by the Metropolitan police as having been involved in the incident, though they have not been arrested as the offence took place outside of the UK. If French officials decide to bring the trial to France, then they could each face a three-year prison sentence and a hefty fine of €45,000. Barklie previously took part in a conference in India in which he vouched for racial tolerance as part of his occupational duties with the WHRF.