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Thursday 14 December 2017

jose: I'm ashamed of 'fans' but they're not chelsea

Club bars two more fans as investigation goes on

Jose Mourinho admits Chelsea feel "ashamed" over the racial abuse of a black man by supporters on the Paris Metro on Tuesday night, but has sought to distance the club from the incident.

A commuter, identified in media reports as French-Mauritian Souleymane S, was blocked from boarding a train by what appeared to be a group of Chelsea fans travelling to the Parc des Princes for the Champions League match against Paris St Germain.

Three men could face life bans from football after being suspended from Stamford Bridge as part of the ongoing investigation that is being undertaken in conjunction with the London Metropolitan and Paris police.

Last night, the club announced that two more people would be barred.

"Chelsea Football Club has suspended a further two people from Stamford Bridge as a result of ongoing investigations into the incident on the Paris Metro on Tuesday evening. This makes a total of five to date," a statement said.

"If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life."

Chelsea have apologised in writing to Souleymane and invited him and his family to attend the second leg of the European clash against PSG on March 11, while a spokesman stated that owner Roman Abramovich is "disgusted".

Mourinho, speaking about the incident for the first time, has revealed his own anguish but stresses that the men involved should not be viewed as genuine fans of the club.

"We feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn't because we - I - refuse to be connected with these people," Mourinho said.

"I'm connected with Chelsea and the many good things this club defends and represents. I left Chelsea in 2007 and I couldn't wait to come back.

"I felt ashamed when I knew what happened, but I repeat I'm a proud Chelsea manager because I know what this club is.

"I feel ashamed to have been connected with this sad episode that happened and I have no more words."

Mourinho confirmed that his views are shared in Chelsea's dressing room.

"The reaction of the players is the same reaction that we all have," said Mourinho, who supports Souleymane's invitation to Stamford Bridge.

"I have a squad at Chelsea where 12 or 14 players have African nationality or an African connection. Our dressing room has always had big principles of equality over everything - race, religion, everything."

Mourinho's weekly press conference ahead of today's Premier League match against Burnley at Stamford Bridge was dominated by discussion of the racist abuse witnessed on the Paris underground.

A club spokesman opened proceedings with a statement in which he said Chelsea were "appalled by what we saw", branding the incident as "unforgivable" and declaring that "the people involved do not represent Chelsea football club".

When Mourinho was asked how offensive it is that the supporters used the name of club captain John Terry to justify their actions, the spokesman intervened by saying: "We're not interested in any excuses or stories to try and cover these actions."

Terry was given a four-match ban and fined £220,000 in 2012 after being found guilty by the FA of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

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