FIFA president Sepp Blatter has condemnded the actions of a number of Chelsea fans who racially abused a black man and denied him access to a Metro train in Paris on Tuesday.
A number of supporters were caught on video blocking the doors to a train before pushing the man in question and singing a song that included the words: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
It followed Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League draw with Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes, with the Premier League club quick to declare the actions as “abhorrent”.
Following a week in which former Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi stated there were “too many blacks” in the Italian youth divisions, Blatter responded to both incidents on Twitter.
He wrote: “Pride and dignity is not a question of skin colour. Shocked by Arrigo Sacchi’s comments. Stop it.
“I also condemn the actions of a small group of Chelsea fans in Paris. There is no place for racism in football!”
UEFA added in its own statement that it was “appalled” by the Chelsea incident, yet European football’s governing body insists it cannot apply sanctions due to the abuse taking place away from PSG’s stadium.
A statement from the organisation read: “UEFA condems all forms of discrimination and we are appalled by the incident which took place in the Paris Metro on Tuesday.
“However, as it occurred away from the stadium, it is outside UEFA’s remit to act. It is a matter for the local authorities to investigate further and UEFA supports any action that is taken.”
Kick It Out chair Herman Ouseley also had his say, explaining that the anti-racism campaign group would support the prosecution of those involved.
“We know that prejudice is on the increase and that in itself leads to hateful attitudes and this sort of conduct,” he said in a statement.
“I was shocked that Chelsea fans were still behaving like this. I thought the club had made it quite clear and taken action about stopping any repetition, knowing Chelsea, how hard they’ve worked on these matters, with fans as well as players, that it was unlikely to occur.
“The fact it involved an assault as well, of the individual that they pushed off the train, was even more shocking.
“Clearly it sends out a strong signal to, not only Chelsea, but the whole of football, that you cannot be complacent and think the actions you’re taking are sufficient to deal with the scourge of racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.
“We’ve got to do a lot more and not be complacent. We’ll support any prosecution.”