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Chelsea football fan sorry over Paris Metro incident

2015-02-22 23:25:47

Ian BarklieRichard Barklie denied racist chanting and said he wanted to explain the incident to police

An ex-police officer and Chelsea fan has apologised for his part in an alleged racist incident on the Paris Metro - but has denied he is a racist.

Richard Barklie, 50, of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, was identified as one of the people sought by the Met Police.

In a statement, he denied racist chanting and said he wanted to explain the context of the incident to police.

Chelsea FC has barred five fans after a video showed a black man being pushed away from a train.

The Metropolitan Police have said three men being sought in connection with an incident of alleged racism by Chelsea fans on the Paris Metro have been identified.

Mr Barklie, a Chelsea season ticket holder, admitted involvement in an "incident" that resulted in the man - identified as Souleymane S - being "unable to enter part of the train".

However, the ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer denied singing any racist songs.

In the statement - issued by Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters - Mr Barklie said he had travelled to the game alone and insisted he did not know any of the other people captured on the video.

He said he has never been part of any "group or faction" of Chelsea fans.

Mr Barklie is currently a director with a human rights organisation - the World Human Rights Forum - and has also worked supporting victims of the Troubles.

His solicitors have contacted the Met Police to advise officers Mr Barklie is "happy to assist with inquiries".

Amateur video shot at Paris' Richelieu-Drouot station showed a man being pushed from the Metro train while a group chanted: "We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it."

Chelsea has said it will ban the five suspended fans from attending Stamford Bridge for life if there is sufficient evidence of their involvement.

A spokesman said the club was writing to the victim to "apologise unreservedly", while manager Jose Mourinho has said he was "ashamed" by the alleged racism.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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