Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho felt ashamed by racist fans who pushed a black passenger off a metro train in Paris and he hopes the victim will accept an invitation to watch a game at Stamford Bridge to prove such behaviour was not a reflection of the real team.
The man, named only as Souleymane, complained to police about the incident at Richelieu-Drouot metro station before the Champions League game between Paris St Germain and Chelsea on Tuesday.
Chelsea have suspended three fans caught on video during the incident and said they were working with British and French police to identify others. They have invited Souleymane and his family to watch the return leg in March.
“I think he would watch not only the game, but he would feel what Chelsea is. At this moment he will have the wrong idea of what Chelsea is,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“He would feel that the people who did this action with him is not Chelsea.
“Chelsea is the owner, the board, the manager, the players, the people who work here, it’s also the true Chelsea supporter.
“So I would support his coming here. Even if I don’t know if he’s a football fan.”
After a strongly-worded statement from the club saying owner Roman Abramovich was disgusted at the incident and would suspend for life any fan proven to have taken part, Mourinho said he had not returned to London in 2013 to be connected with such “miserable” people.
“We feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn’t because I refuse to be connected with these people. I left Chelsea in 2007 and I could not wait for the moment to be back and it’s not because of people like this that I wanted to be back,” Mourinho said.
“I felt ashamed when I knew what happened but I am a proud club manager because I know what Chelsea really is.”
Mourinho said the reaction of his players in a multicultural dressing room was the same.
“This dressing-room was always a dressing-room with big principles of equality not just about race, also about religion about everything,” he said.
“The dressing-room reacted the way I react, with disappointmentbut always with the feeling that we do not belong to these people and they do not belong to us.”
The club said on Friday more suspensions could follow as investigations continue but they were not releasing any names yet.
The video appeared to show fans of the London team chanting “we’re racist and that’s the way we like it” as they stopped Souleymane boarding a train.
The video footage has been widely condemned by soccer authorities including FIFA President Sepp Blatter.