British politician Nigel Farage tried to distance himself from Josh Parsons, a 21-year-old Chelsea fan who was involved in a racial attack on Tuesday night in Paris, by saying that “not everybody is perfect.”
Parsons was part of a group of Chelsea Football Club fans that stand accused of a racist attack on a black commuter in Paris, while travelling to Parc des Princes stadium for the Champions League fixture between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germaine.
According to a video, which was sent to The Guardian by a British expat Paul Nolan, Parsons and the rest of the group are seen pushing the commuter away from a subway train in Paris, while chanting “we’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.”
Here is the original video:
On Wednesday, a picture of Parsons smiling next to Farage appeared on social network, linking the aggression to the British far right politician.
Commenting on the issue of the picture with the Chelsea fan, Farage said in a tweet that “not everybody is perfect.”
Unlike other party leaders I go out & often take pics with the British public. Obv not everyone is perfect. I don’t vet people outside pubs.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 19, 2015
The Daily Mail revealed on February 19 that Parsons had already been warned by Chelsea over “inappropriate behaviour,” together with his younger brother, Benji, who was also on the train in Paris.
Parsons is currently employed by the Business and Commercial Finance Club in Mayfair. Speaking to the Daily Mail, his boss at the firm Miranda Khadr said that she was surprised to see him involved in that sort of behaviour.
“He is not that type of person at all (to have taken part in racist chants), he works with me and I’m not English,” she said. “He is a 21-year-old little boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
However, yesterday afternoon, the company said in statement that an internal investigation was underway and today it confirmed to Business Insider that Parsons has been suspended from work until the issue is cleared.
At the same time, Chelsea said that the club is considering banning the fans for life, “if it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident.”
But the fans could risk much more than a ban from stadiums, as French authorities have opened an investigation on seven English fans for “racial violence in public transport,” according to the French newspaper Le Parisien. They now face up to 3 years in jail and a fine of €45,000 (£33,000)
According to the Daily Mail, Parsons’ friend, seen holding a flag of the club alongside him, describe him as a “die hard” Chelsea fan.
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