Stoke & Staffordshire

'Chelsea fans' in new train racism probe

Stoke station
Image caption British Transport Police said officers were called to meet the train as it entered Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday

Police have launched an investigation after reports of racist and abusive behaviour from Chelsea fans on a train from London to Manchester.

British Transport Police said it was called to meet the train at Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday and asked four men to leave. Four more left of their own accord, they said.

Passengers had claimed the abusive fans were Chelsea supporters, police said.

A club representative said they were aware of the reports.

"It's not yet clear if any Chelsea supporters were involved but if they were we will, of course, be assisting the British Transport Police with their inquiries," they said.

The investigation follows allegations of racism involving Chelsea supporters on the Paris Metro in February.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: "Shortly after 22:30 GMT, officers were called to meet a London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly train at Stoke, following reports of racist and abusive behaviour by a number of passengers, said to be football fans.

"Colleagues from Staffordshire Police also attended.

"We have spoken to two witnesses, and investigations continue."

Chelsea were celebrating victory over Tottenham in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.

Image caption Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he was "ashamed" of the events in Paris

Chelsea suspended five supporters following their own investigation into the Paris Metro incident, when a commuter identified in media reports as French-Mauritian Souleymane S, was blocked from boarding a train by fans travelling to a Champions League match.

Footage captured by a bystander appeared to show Souleymane being pushed back on to the platform amid chants of "We're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it".

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he was "ashamed" of the events in Paris while owner Roman Abramovich was said to be "disgusted".

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