Chelsea apologise to Metro victim over abuse, Mourinho 'ashamed' by incident
Chelsea have issued an apology to the man who was racially abused by club supporters on the Paris Metro on Tuesday night, and will invite him to a match as a guest.
The club also announced they have suspended a further two people from Stamford Bridge, meaning a total of five people could face life bans as part of the ongoing investigation into the incident.
A statement on the club website said: "If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life."
A commuter, identified in media reports as French-Mauritian Souleymane S, was blocked from entering a train by what appeared to be a group of fans travelling to the Parc des Princes for the Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.
"I'd like to make clear, on behalf of everyone at the club, our disgust at the incident. We were appalled by what we saw," a club spokesman said before manager Jose Mourinho began his weekly news conference.
"The club would also like to apologise unreservedly to Souleymane for the behaviour of a small number of individuals and their unforgivable action towards him. We're writing to him to apologise and to invite him to come to a game as our guest."
While Mourinho feels "ashamed" by the incident, he remains proud to be Chelsea manager after distancing the club from the supporters who racially abused the man.
"We feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn't because I refuse to be connected with these people," Mourinho said. "I'm connected with Chelsea and the many good things this club defends. I left Chelsea in 2007 and I couldn't wait to be back.
"I felt ashamed when I knew what happened, but I repeat I'm a proud Chelsea manager because I know what this club is."
Mourinho also backed the initiative to bring Mr. Souleymane to Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese said: "I think he would watch the game, he would feel what Chelsea is, because in this moment he maybe has wrong idea of what Chelsea football club is.
"I don't even know if the gentleman loves football but, for sure, you would love to feel that the miserable people who had this action with him is not Chelsea football club.
"This is not Chelsea. They are not Chelsea. Chelsea is the owner. Is the board, is the manager, is the players, is the people who works here, is the true Chelsea supporter so, yes, I would support the idea, even not knowing if the gentleman loves football or not.
"I repeat, I feel ashamed at being connected with this sad episode that happened and I have no words, unless you want me to stay here two hours repeating the same thing, because my feeling is the feeling of everyone at this club. We feel very, very sorry about it. We want to fight it, we feel ashamed, and we apologise to the gentleman."
Mourinho also spoke of his own anguish after viewing the footage.
"I watched the image only once. That was enough for me. It was a humiliation for that gentleman. I imagine myself in the same situation," Mourinho said. "I go home after a day of work and a couple of guys kick me out of my public transport and I cannot go home. It's a humiliation. It's difficult to believe this can happen in the modern day, but the reality is that it happens."
Mourinho refused to be drawn on whether John Terry's four-match ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in 2012 has clouded the issue, instead offering a robust defence of his captain.
"I know 100 percent for sure that John Terry is not for one single second of his life a racist. That I can assure you. For sure," Mourinho said. "He had a bad episode, I don't know because I wasn't here. Maybe yes.
"But ask every player who has shared the dressing room with John -- over the years we are speaking about dozens and dozens of players -- and I can assure you they will tell you the same thing: John is not a racist."
In an interview given to BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday afternoon, Souleymane argued that Chelsea hold a degree of liability for the conduct of their fans and has yet to receive any contact from Stamford Bridge.
"Chelsea are partly responsible and I have brought a complaint. They have partial responsibility because it's their supporters," Souleymane said. "Chelsea need to call my lawyers and they haven't done that yet, unlike PSG. Their director general has called my lawyer and he called me. I haven't had any reply from Chelsea. Nothing."
French president Francois Hollande spoke to Souleymane by telephone on Friday, according to Le Parisien newspaper. Mr Hollande praised the 33-year-old and reportedly thanked him for the dignity he had shown in his public remarks over the incident.
Discussing Tuesday's incident, Souleymane told the Guardian: "It has really affected my life. I can't go back into the Metro, it makes me really afraid. I don't think you should be denied the right to take the Metro because you're black. That's what they wanted."
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck met with Kick it Out chairman Lord Ouseley on Friday as a demonstration of club's commitment to fighting discrimination and racism.