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French President calls victim of racist abuse

CHELSEA-FANSPARIS, February 21- The black Frenchman who was the victim of racist abuse by Chelsea football fans on the Paris Metro has received a personal message from President Francois Hollande.

The president took the unusual step of speaking to Souleymane S. on the telephone on Friday to express his sympathy over his ordeal.

“President @fhollande spoke to Souleymane S and offered his support over the odious racial attack he suffered,” the Elysee announced on its Twitter account.

Souleymane S, a French-Mauritanian  was blocked from boarding a train by fans travelling to the Parc des Princes for the 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Footage captured by a bystander appears to show him 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 have condemned the attack and have suspended a total of five people from attending matches at their Stamford Bridge ground, with the potential for life bans.

Chelsea and their manager Jose Mourinho had extended an invitation to Souleymane to attend a match but the keen taekwondo enthusiast said he would be declining it.

“I am touched by the invitation from Mr Mourinho, but I’m not in the right frame of mind to go to a stadium at the moment,” he told newspaper Le Parisien on Saturday.

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