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Don't Blame Chelsea for Racist Football Fans

This week a video hit the realms of the web depicting a scene in which a large group of rowdy Chelsea supporters pushed a man off a tube train in what was undeniably an act of racial discrimination.

With chants of “we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”, it’s no wonder there was public outrage.

Quite rightly, five fans have now been suspended from attending matches at Stamford Bridge, whilst the victim of these cruel and vindictive actions, Soulemayne S, is it to recieve a letter from Chelsea FC, as well as an invite to an upcoming game as their guest, an offer he refused.

He told the BBC that after the abuse he was “wounded to the bottom of his heart’ and that he was ‘humiliated in front of his country”. It’s quite disturbing how such a large crowd of people can make one man feel so dreadful.

Throughout the years, football hooliganism has always been a widespread and controversial topic. However inexcusable hooliganism is, it’s normally conflict between rival teams. Race usually bares no relevance. What is apparent is that the group mentality of hooliganism had been adopted in this incident.

Watching the video, no one appeared to be disgusted by what they had witnessed.

Jose Mourinho, the boss of Chelsea, has released a statement, saying: “I felt ashamed when I found out but these supporters do not represent the club.”

That is an important point to make. It’s easy to now go on and tarnish all Chelsea fans with the same brush. Of course they are not all racist. That would be rather hypocritical. Racism is often based on labelling a particluar group under one umbrella.

Credit where credit is due too, Chelsea has handled the sitaution very well, perhaps becuase of their colourful history with racism.

John Terry, Captain of the Chelsea squad, was in October 2012 the subject of a 63-page report by the FA over his racial outburst towards fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand. He was banned for four games and fined £220,000.

Although causing a furore at the time, it is important to note that the situation was seemingly dealt with well and Terry became something of an example to other players and their behaviour both on and off the pitch.

On the attack on Soulemayne S, John Terry said: “Football is a sport for everyone, that is one of the main reasons why we love it and what happened on the Paris Metro on Tuesday was unacceptable.”

And whilst the previous incident was several years ago and has begun to fade from public memory, it is in his favour to give a statement like that.

Last Saturday also saw Chelsea host their annual Game for Equality match, in which they teamed up with Show Racism the Red Card, a campaign using footballers to educate against racism, to fight against racial discrimination.

A match like this could have not been planned for a better time.

They have definitely been unfortunate over recent years in regards to their racial standpoint.

For a sport with such a diversity of races, ethnicities and nationalities, it is surprising that true fans of any football club would still hold a racist viewpoint.

I just hope that others won’t jump on the bandwagon and carry out similar actions to become ‘viral’.

Let’s hope the suspension of these vile fans will set a deterrent against more fans acting in a similar manner and the fight against racism in sport will continue.