Canoville “ashamed” by Metro racism

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Chelsea’s first ever black player Paul Canoville was “embarrassed” by footage of what appears to be the club’s fans preventing a black man from boarding a train in Paris.

Posted on the Guardian website, a video shows a commuter trying to board a train in the French capital but is blocked by apparent supporters of the Blues travelling to the Parc des Princes for the 1-1 Champions League draw with Paris St Germain on Tuesday night.

The video also shows some of the number chanting “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it”, prompting a number of high-profile figures to condemn those involved while UK police are investigating the incident.

Chelsea have vowed to support criminal prosecutions and ban any fans, and Canoville, who played for the club from 1981 to 1986, was appalled by the footage.

“How would I have felt had I been standing in front of those ‘fans’ on the Paris Metro?” said the 52-year-old in several national newspapers.

“Well, I can tell you, I would have loved to be in that position. I would have loved to stand up to those idiots, to tell them who I was, and see if they would do that to me. It might have been a different story then.

“That could have been me, they should have done that to me because they wouldn’t recognise me so when I’d say to them, ‘Hold on, do you know who I am?’ What would their excuse be then?

“What would they have said? Where is the line drawn? He got pushed once, twice. He would have been scared, I would have been scared, but I know now that I’d say: ‘Hang on, I’m Chelsea – you’re Chelsea, excuse me do you know who I am?’ What would have developed right there?

“I was shocked as well as embarrassed and kind of ashamed when I heard it. When I saw that [the film] I was really amazed.”

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand believes football has done a lot to combat racism and that a wider problem exists in society as a whole.

In a series of tweets, the QPR defender said: “The racist scene on the metro with the Chelsea fans-disgraceful behaviour obviously. But can football change this? Does it have the power?

“Does football want to change this? Do the people in the game that hold the power really want to put the hard yards in to eradicate racism?

“football has come a long way since the 70’s & 80’s but are we all guilty of becoming a bit complacent ??

“Football has done a lot over the years to combat racism..but society has to do more to make change or is there too much hatred in society?”

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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