Politely declined: Souleymane S has turn down Mourinho’s invite
The man racially abused by Chelsea supporters on the Paris Metro earlier this week has turned down an invitation from the Blues to attend a match at Stamford Bridge.
French-Mauritian Souleymane S was blocked from boarding a train by fans travelling to the Parc des Princes for the Champions League match against Paris St Germain, which finished 1-1.
Footage captured by a bystander appears to show Souleymane being pushed back on to the platform amid chants of “we’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho said in his pre-Burnley press conference on Friday that the felt ‘ashamed’ and distanced the club from those responsible.
The Portuguese manager later revealed he hoped Souleymane would accept an invite from the club to attend the second leg of Chelsea’s last-16 Champions League tie against PSG.
But Souleymane has told Le Parisien that, although he appreciated the gesture, he does not feel ready to go to a football stadium following Tuesday’s incident.
He said: “I appreciate Mr Mourinho’s invitation, but I can’t get my head around being in a stadium at the moment.”
MORE (SUNDAY PAPERS)
The fall-out from last week’s video of Chelsea fans racially abusing a black man on the Paris Metro continues in the Sunday papers this weekend.
The splash of the sports section in the Sunday Telegraph features a story titled “Chelsea snubbed by racism victim”.
Last week an Internet campaign started to get Souleymane S, the man who was abused by the Chelsea fans, to come to Stamford Bridge for the 2nd leg with PSG in a fortnight’s time, in order to show the gentleman that this was an unfortunate incident that doesn’t reflect either Chelsea or English football.
Indeed, Jose Mourinho backed the campaign at the start of his press conference last week, saying that this would allow Souleymane to “see what Chelsea really is”.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Souleymane S has now publicly rejected the offer a free trip to London for the Champions League game, although “Chelsea remain hopeful that [he…] will take up the club’s invitation”.
The news that Souleymane S has rejected the Blues invite was first reported by French paper Le Parisien. They carried quotes from the racism victim saying:
I appreciate Mr Mourinho’s invitation, but I can’t get my head around being in a stadium at the moment.
On the field Chelsea suffered a difficult Saturday in the Premier League as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Burnley