The man known only as Souleymane S was shoved off a train by fans singing racist chants before the game against Paris St Germain
Says he is too ‘afraid’ to go back on the Metro and instead uses his car
The 33-year-old sales manager says his morale has been damaged ‘a lot’
He could not bring himself to discuss it with his family but has since spoken out after he was shown the shocking mobile phone footage
The man at the centre of the racism storm engulfing Chelsea has said he is ‘afraid’ to go back on the Paris Metro after he was pushed off a train by fans for being black.
Souleymane S, who does not wish his last name to be reported, was on his way home to his young family when he the incident happened at around 7.30pm on Tuesday at the Richelieu-Drouot station.
The 33-year-old had left the Left Bank office, where he works as a sales manager, after a 10-hour day keen to get back to his wife three children, aged six, four and three, at their home just outside Paris.
But in a shocking confrontation filmed by British expat Paul Nolan on his mobile phone, Souleymane was prevented from boarding a train by a group of Chelsea fans on their way to a Champions League game against Paris St Germain who were heard to be singing racist chants.
In an interview on Friday the father-of-three, who was born in Paris to Mauritanian parents, told the Guardian: ‘What happened has left me really afraid.
‘Frankly I was stunned, I didn’t know what to say.
‘This is 2015. This talk of black skin or white skin, that’s something I don’t like and I didn’t know why [it was happening].’
Souleymane says one member of the group of around 30 or 40 white men pointed at his skin and then to his own, as if to say only one kind was allowed on the train.
In the footage he can be seen twice trying to enter the tightly packed carriage, but both times being shoved back out through the train door.
He said what happened had not much hurt him physically, but had damaged his morale ‘a lot’, meaning he will now only use his car and not the Paris underground.
Souleymane lost his phone in the scuffle but managed to get on the next train, arriving home to a wife and family with whom he could not bring himself to discuss what happened, unable to believe a group of foreigners had stopped him going home in his own city because of the colour of his skin.
It was only when a French journalist tracked him down the next day and showed him Mr Nolan’s video that he realised he had to speak out about it and make a complaint to police.
He said what happened was Chelsea’s ‘responsibility’, and the club have offered him a place in the director’s box at Stamford Bridge for the return match against PSG next month.
French president François Hollande has called to pledge his personal support.