Fifa president Sepp Blatter has reacted to a couple of incidents this week involving former Italy and AC Milan president, Arrigo Sacchi, and a footage which appears to show Chelsea football fans, both in racial discriminatory claim/acts respectively.
Sacchi, 68, denied being a racist after claiming Italy’s youth set-up features “too many blacks” and video emerged which appeared to show fans preventing a black man from boarding a Paris train which had Chelsea fans among commuters on board.
“Pride and dignity is not a question of skin colour. Shocked by Arrigo Sacchi’s comments. Stop it,” Blatter said on Tweeter, while he also denounced actions by “a small group of Chelsea fans in Paris”, adding: “There is no place for racism in football!”
Sacchi was at the Viareggio Cup this month and, speaking at Maestrelli awards ceremony, had said “there are two many coloured players” in the youth tournament.
Asked to clarify his comment by La Gazzetta dello Sport later on Monday night, Sacchi said: “I have been misrepresented, do you really think I’m a racist?”
Tuesday’s incident took place before the Champions League clash between Paris St-Germain and Chelsea.
Chelsea FC said in its own statement it would help aid the success of an imminent police investigation, and “any season ticket holder or members involved” faced a ban.
The Metropolitan Police disclosed it was taking the incident “very seriously.” It said it would assist French authorities to identify the perpetrators and facilitate any action they chose to take.”
“We will examine the footage with a view to seeing if we can apply for football banning orders, preventing people from traveling from future matches,” a spokesperson said.
Other relevant bodies, including European football’s governing body (Uefa), the FA and Scotland Yard, have all issued statements against the “abhorrent” incident, which according to the Guardian took place at the Richelieu-Drouot station in the centre of Paris on Tuesday evening- prior to the start of the Champions League tie.
Thousands of Blues supporters traveled to the French capital for the game against PSG, which ended a goal apiece.
Uefa said in its statement that it was “appalled” by the incident but briefly clarified its stance, saying: “As it occurred away from the stadium it is outside Uefa’s remit to act.”