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I’m no racist claims human rights director

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​Chelsea fan at centre of racism storm identified as human rights director from Northern Ireland

One of the Chelsea fans being sought for the racial abuse of a black man on the Paris Metro has been identified as the director of a leading human rights organisation.

Richard Barklie, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, has apologised for the incident but denied he is racist.

Barklie came forward after images of three men who obstructed and chanted racist songs at the man named Souleymane S.

It was subsequently revealed he is a director of the World Human Rights Forum, which is based in Northern Ireland, and states in its mission as “committed to protect the ideals enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The incident happened before Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Footage posted online showed the commuter being pushed back on to the platform to chants of: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.”

Barklie issued a statement through his lawyer in which he admitted involvement in an “incident” that resulted in Souleymane S being “unable to enter part of the train”.

He said he had an account he wanted to provide to police that would explain the “context and circumstances”.

The statement was issued by solicitor Kevin Winters.

“We act on behalf of Mr Barklie, identified as one of the people sought by authorities investigating an incident on the Paris Métro on 16/2/15,” it said.

“We contacted London Metropolitan Police today to advise that our client is happy to assist with inquiries.

“Pending formal engagement with police, our client is anxious to put on record his total abhorrence for racism and any activity associated with it.

“As someone who has spent years working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and India, he can point to a CV in human rights work which undermines any suggestion he is racist.

“Today a senior official in the World Human Rights Forum confirmed their support for him.”

Chelsea has said it will ban five suspended fans it suspects were involved in the incident from attending Stamford Bridge for life if there is sufficient evidence.