It has now been revealed that an ex-policeman was among the Chelsea fans who barred a black man from boarding the Paris Metro last week whilst singing racist chants.
Richard Barklie, 50, an ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer and currently a director at the World Human Rights Forum, was caught on camera as being among the Chelsea fans present when the incident occurred last Tuesday. Yet Mr Barklie, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, denies that he was involved in the incident or knew the accused Chelsea fans, strongly denies that he is racist and insists that he did not participate in any of the racist chanting.
A statement released by Mr Barklie’s solicitor, Kevin Winters, stated: ''We act on behalf of Mr Barklie identified as one of the people sought by authorities investigating an incident on the Paris Metro on 16/2/15 […] We contacted London Metropolitan Police today to advise that our client is happy to assist with inquiries.”
It continued, “'Pending formal engagement with police, our client is anxious to put on record his total abhorrence for racism and any activity associated with it. […] As someone who has spent years working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and India he can point to a cv in human rights work which undermines any suggestion he is racist.”
In an apparently self-contradictory set of statements Mr Winters also went on to say that “[Mr Barklie] travelled alone to the Paris St Germain match and has no knowledge whatsoever of the identities of the other people depicted in recent YouTube video releases. He wants to stress that he was not and never has been part of any group or faction of Chelsea supporters […] He did not participate in racist chanting and singing and condemns any behaviour supporting that,” but that, ''He accepts he was involved in an incident when a person now known to him as Souleymane S was unable to enter a part of the train.”
So far five people have been suspended from Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge following police enquiries into the incident.