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Europe

Paris racist attack victim to file legal case against Chelsea fans

media Souleymane S speaks to Le Parisien Screen capture/Dailymotion/Le Parisien TV

The man at the centre of a racist incident on the Paris metro is to file a civil case against the Chelsea football club fans involved and hopes they will be jailed. Souleymane S was not even aware that video of the incident had gone viral when French journalists found him at the metro station where it happened on Wednesday evening.

Souleymane S, as the newspaper Le Parisien calls him, lost his mobile phone when he was repeatedly pushed off the train by British fans who had come to see Tuesday’s Chelsea-Paris St Germain match.

He did not know the incident had been filmed, let alone that it had been broadcast worldwide.

The 33-year-old, born in France to Mauritanian parents, was on his way home from work when it took place and when journalists from Le Parisien found him the following evening and told him about the media coverage.

He does not speak English but understood “they were targeting me because of the colour of my skin”, he told the paper.

But he did not mention his experience to his family when he got home and would not have taken the matter further because such behaviour was not a major surprise.

“You know, I live with racism,” he said. “I wasn't totally surprised at what happened, even if this was the first time it'd happened in the metro.”

“What should I say to the children?” he asked. “That dad was pushed about in the metro because he’s black? There’s no point.”

After the event someone told him he had been brave to stand up to the fans but “None of the passengers came to my defence. Anyway, what could they do?”

Souleymane S told the paper that, having learnt of the publicity the incident had attracted, he would file a complaint with the police and seek support from anti-racist campaigners.

"These people, these English supporters, must be found, punished and locked up," he told Le Parisien.
 

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