Paris - Four Chelsea football fans,
including an ex-policeman, battled charges of racist violence in a Paris court
on Tuesday for which they could face prison terms.
In the Paris metro, the four
were among Chelsea fans who chanted "we are racist, we are racist and
that's the way we like it" as they pushed back a black man trying to board
In court, the fans denied
their acts were racist in nature.
Joshua Parsons, 22, a former
pupil of the elite Millfield school in England, now working in the building
trade, and James Fairbairn, 25, a civil engineer, were the only two among the
four to appear in court.
Both wore grey suits for the
hearing where a video of the incident was shown.
Richard Barklie, a
52-year-old former policeman, and William Simpson, 27, were tried in absentia.
The incident in February 2015
before a Champions League match between Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea was
filmed by a Briton, Paul Nolan, and published by the Guardian newspaper.
The video showed commuter
Souleymane Sylla repeatedly being violently thwarted in his attempts to get on
a train at the Richelieu-Drouot station. Station CCTV footage also recorded the
Parsons, Fairbairn and
Barklie have already been banned from football stadiums in Britain.
In France, they face a jail
term of up to seven years and a 100,000-euro fine.