From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Chelsea fan in Paris Métro video posed in picture with Nigel Farage
Josh Parsons, identified as one of the fans filmed on a Paris Métro train ahead of the Chelsea – PSG match, is allegedly a ‘vocal’ Ukip supporter
Elena Cresci and Shiv Malik
Thursday 19 February 2015 11.22 GMT
A Chelsea fan filmed while racist chants were shouted on the Paris Métro was a “vocal” supporter of Ukip, even posing with the party’s leader, Nigel Farage.
A photo posted by season ticket holder Josh Parsons on his Instagram account around four months ago shows Farage, drink in hand, next to the 21-year-old named as one of the Chelsea fans on the Paris subway. The caption underneath the photo reads: “UKIP BOYS! What a geezer.”
Parsons has since taken down his Instagram account, as well as his Facebook and Twitter profiles, after he was named by a number of sources as appearing in the video published by the Guardian on Tuesday.
Ukip has told the Guardian that Parsons is not a member of the party and that it had “never heard of him”, adding that the photo was taken outside a London pub.
In a statement, the party’s head of press, Gawain Towler, said: “Mr Farage is photographed with and by dozens of people, both by supporters and opponents on a daily basis.
“Ukip and Mr Farage find the behaviour of the suspected Chelsea fans on the Paris Métro to be disgraceful, and shames both the country and Chelsea football club.
“We are delighted that the identities of these people are being revealed, and that they will face the full force of the law.”
Wearing a black hooded jacket, Parsons can be seen in the Paris video after those around him appear to have chanted: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”
It is unclear from the video whether Parsons was among those chanting or remonstrating with a black commuter, who had been earlier pushed from a carriage.
One former schoolmate, who did not wished to be named, said Parsons and his younger brother Beno, who he believes was in the same Paris Métro carriage as Josh on Tuesday night, were well known Ukip supporters during their time at Millfield private school over a year-and-a-half ago.
The boarding school, based in Street, Somerset, charges fees of £30,000 a year.
“I was never really friends with them. The interesting thing was they were very strong Ukip supporters,” the schoolmate told the Guardian.
He said both brothers were part of a very small but “vocal” Ukip crowd at the school.
“They were … only about four or five people but they made themselves heard. They were never aggressive, they were never forcing it down your throat … but you were left with no illusions looking at their social media that they were a) Chelsea fans and b) Ukip supporters.”
He said he “despised” racism and described the actions on the film as appalling, adding that it in no way represented the views of most people at his former school.
Mitchell McCoy, a 17-year-old Chelsea fan who was also on the train, has spoken to a number of media outlets defending the incident, claiming there was no racism involved. He told LBC: “The carriage was full up, there was no room for him to get on and he tried to force himself on. He was really aggressive, pushing himself. I’d say it was self defence, pushing him off.”
Asked whether the pushing and chanting were connected, he said: “No of course it wasn’t connected. The press are trying to make something out of nothing.”
At the time of the incident, McCoy sent a number of tweets which he later deleted, including one which read: “Our captain is a racist a racist a racist and that is why we love him we love him we love him.” In replies to other tweeters, he claimed people in the video were his friends and that the fans weren’t “letting white people on either”.
McCoy was unavailable for comment.
On Wednesday, Chelsea condemned the supporters involved and said their behaviour was “abhorrent and has no place in football or society”. The club added they were supporting any criminal action against the fans involved.
The man pushed from the train gave an interview to Le Parisien, published on Thursday morning. Named only as Souleymane S, he said he “understood very well that they were targeting me because of the colour of my skin”.
He added: “These people, these English fans should be found, punished and locked up. What happened should not go unpunished.”
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Mr Parsons is a former pupil at the £30,000-a-year Millfield public school and is now an assistant at the Business and Commercial Finance Club in Mayfair.
Chelsea fans who shouted racist chants at London station sought by police. Incident in St Pancras station on Wednesday night involved fans returning from France, the day after Chelsea supporters assaulted a black man on Paris Métro: here.
Video footage has emerged of a group of men, thought to be West Ham fans, chanting anti-Semitic abuse on a train in north London: here.
Racism and football in Britain: here.
Russell Brand: Let’s kick cold profiteering out of football, along with racism: here.
A significant proportion of the 6,500 complaints made about a controversial film imagining the early days of a Ukip government were the result of an orchestrated campaign by a far-right group known for its paramilitary style actions, the Guardian has learned. Britain First, which leads “Christian patrols” through areas with high Muslim populations and has staged mosque “invasions”, encouraged supporters to sign a templated email to both Channel 4 and Ofcom to complain about Ukip: The First 100 Days.
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