As investigations continue in the Paris train incident involving a group of Chelsea fans blocking a black man from boarding the train, CNN reports that police have identified one of the three men Metropolitan Police are interested in talking to: Richard Barklie.
He currently serves on the board of directors for the World Human Rights Forum.
Before his work in human rights, Barklie reportedly worked as a police officer in Northern Ireland. He is a Chelsea F.C. season ticket holder.
Barklie's attorneys released a statement on his behalf admitting his involvement in the incident, but denying that he participated in the chants of "We're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it."
The statement, carried by CNN, added:
"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 who has spent years working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and India he can point to a C.V. in human rights work which undermines any suggestion he is racist."
Metropolitan Police released images of three people they're looking to speak to following the Paris incident.
Chelsea announced on Friday February 20 it was suspending another two people from Stamford Bridge as a result of investigations into the incident. This brings the total suspensions up to five.
The statement adds:
"If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life. We are grateful to the many Chelsea supporters and others who have provided information."
The man assaulted by Chelsea fans spoke out about the incident to BBC Radio. In his first UK media interview, the victim said he was "humiliated" and "wounded."
"I felt truly wounded to the bottom of my heart. I really couldn’t believe it. We are in 2015 aren’t we? And we’re in France, in a civilized country. And when you’re in a civilized country there are certain things you cannot do. For me, it’s a humiliation. I was humiliated in my country. I was humiliated in front of my family. Humiliated in front of my mother and father." he said.
He added that no one from Chelsea has yet to contact his lawyers.
"Of course it’s Chelsea’s responsibility. It’s their supporters," he said. "The fans didn’t say ‘Paris’ they chanted ‘Chelsea.’ Chelsea should contact my lawyer and they haven’t done that yet. It’s their supporters after all."
Chelsea announced on Thursday 19 February it was suspending three people from Stamford Bridge as a result of investigations into the incident.
A statement added: "If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life.
"We have received substantial information to date following our witness appeal and we are grateful to the many Chelsea supporters who have provided information so far."
The Metropolitan police earlier also released a statement about the video.
A spokesperson said: "We are aware of footage currently on the internet allegedly involving Chelsea fans in Paris.
"The Metropolitan Police Service takes offences such as this very seriously, no matter where they occur.
"We will examine the footage with a view to seeing if we can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from travelling from future matches.
"We will, of course, assist French authorities to identify the people involved and support them in any action they choose to take.
"At the same time we will be working closely with Chelsea football club.
"Officers from the Met Police's Football Unit were deployed to Paris to support the French policing operation around the Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea game last night (Tuesday, 17 February).
"Metropolitan Police officers travel to matches abroad involving teams from London at the request of the local police force.
"Anyone who has information about the identity of those involved is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101."
Original story below:
A video has emerged that appears to show a group of Chelsea fans preventing a black man from getting on a train in Paris.
In the clip, obtained by The Guardian, the group is heard singing: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
The incident reportedly took place at the Richelieu-Drouot station of the Paris Metro before Chelsea took on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Chelsea has responded to the video, saying such behaviour was “abhorrent and has no place in football or society”.
He also told The Guardian:
I was just completely appalled by it and so that's why I tried to catch some of it on my phone, although I was a bit self-conscious as it was getting quite aggressive and I overhead one of the Chelsea fans say something about stabbing someone.
I think he was referring to a Paris Saint-Germain supporter who was on the platform.
The British expat said: “There definitely was a culture shock. I heard a couple of French guys saying: ‘I can’t believe this. It’s insane.’”
A Chelsea fan who uses the Twitter handle @CFCMccoy and claimed to have been on the train at the time of the incident told BuzzFeed News: "The man was trying to get on the train and a few people wouldn't let him on. I personally think it was because he was a PSG fan.
"A lot of people didn't realise what had happened until they saw the video. It happened so quick."
The BBC reported that thousands of Chelsea fans travelled to Paris for the match last night, which ended 1–1.
Do you recognise anyone in the video? Email me at email@example.com
Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
Contact Richard James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at email@example.com.
Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.
Contact Tamerra Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.