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Conference considers Paris Metro incident

At today’s pre-match media conference at Cobham, Jose Mourinho spoke about the incident on the Paris Metro earlier this week after a new club statement had been read.

The statement read:

On behalf of the owner, the board and everybody at Chelsea Football Club, we would like to make it clear our disgust with regard to the incident that took place on the Paris Metro on Tuesday evening.

We were appalled by what we saw. The club would also like to apologise unreservedly to Souleymane for the behaviour of a small number of individuals and their unforgiveable actions towards him.

We have been cooperating fully with the Metropolitan Police and the Paris Police in the ongoing investigation and we will continue to do so. We have also been conducting our own investigation and all information from that is being shared with those police forces.

We announced last night we have suspended three individuals from Stamford Bridge pending the conclusion of our investigation. Should evidence show that they are guilty in that incident then the club will ban them for life.

It is only right that we complete our investigation to establish all of the facts of that evening but we have taken swift and decisive action from the information we have received so far.

The people involved in that incident in Paris do not represent Chelsea Football Club. They do not stand for the values of this club and they have no place at this club. This has been echoed loud and clear by the vast majority of Chelsea supporters. We would like to thank the many Chelsea fans who have come forward with information in this case.

We are a club that is proud of its diversity. We work extremely hard in the game and in our communities to promote equality and fight discrimination of all forms. We are proud to support the work of Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card and other organisations, and we work closely with similar programmes with the Premier League, the FA and others.

Mourinho was then asked for his thoughts on what happened in the French capital.

‘This is not Chelsea,’ the manager said. ‘They are not Chelsea.

‘Chelsea is the owner, the manager, the players, the people that work here and the true Chelsea supporters.

‘We feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn’t because I refuse to be connected with these people. I am connected with Chelsea and the many good things Chelsea defend and represent. I left Chelsea in 2007 and I couldn’t wait for the moment to be back, and it’s not because of people like this that I wanted to be back.

‘I felt ashamed when I knew what happened but I repeat: I am a proud Chelsea Football Club manager because I know what the club is and these people don’t represent it.

‘The dressing room reacted the same way I reacted: with disappointment, condemning the situation and supporting the gentleman involved, but always with the feeling that we feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn’t because we don’t belong to these people, and these people don’t belong to us.

‘All these years, even without me, I am sure this dressing room was always a dressing room with big principles of equality. We had everything, absolutely everything - not just [different] races but also [different] religions.

‘Chelsea since minute one after the incident are doing absolutely everything because [we have] zero tolerance. Apart from that we have to keep feeling that our club is a great club and our club has no space for these kinds of people.

‘We feel very sorry about it, we want to fight it and we apologise to the gentleman.’

The club confirmed Souleymane, the gentleman involved in the incident in the Paris Metro, will, along with his family, be invited to the return leg against PSG at Stamford Bridge next month.

‘I would support the idea even not knowing that the gentleman likes football,’ Mourinho said.

‘He would feel what Chelsea is. At this moment maybe he has the wrong idea of what Chelsea Football Club is. I don’t know if the gentleman loves football but for sure he would love to feel that the people [that were involved] in the incident are not Chelsea Football Club.’

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