The four Chelsea F.C. fans accused of aggravated violence against a black man on the Paris Metro before a visit to Parc de Princes in 2015 have been given suspended sentences by a Parisean court. James Fairbairn, 25, Richard Barklie, a 52 year old former police officer, William Simpson, 27, and Joshua Parsons, 22, denied that their actions before a Champions League fixture had been racist in nature.

Souleymane Sylla, a thirty five year old Parisian salesman and father of four, faced a stream of racist abuse as he attempted to board a Metro at the Richelieu-Drouot station.

The court was shown footage of the four men chanting racist songs. Today, four men were ordered to pay Sylla 10,000 euros (£8,500) in compensation for the abuse he suffered.

Justice finally served

After the hearing, Sylla sad: "I am glad to see justice done. I was not afraid of the men in court, I have been waiting two years for justice and today I finally received it." The Chelsea fans can be heard chanting "we are racist, we are racist and that's the way we like it" in footage that emerged online following the incident. The Palais de Justice saw footage of the events that transpired in February 2015 before convicting Fairbairn, Barklie, Simpson and Parsons.

When the footage emerged, Chelsea F.C.

were quick to condemn the video. A spokesman stated: "At Chelsea F.C. we vehemently condemn all racist behaviour. Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in Football or society at large". Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager that has played a huge part in Chelsea's success this season, also condemned the incident in a press conference before his team faces Tottenham Hostspur.

The French court said: " The trail is a landmark case in anti-Racism prosecutions and a clear cut example of racism. It is rare to have such a clear cut, unabashed, violently racist incident".

Chelsea arrests

According to a Guardian study, Chelsea, who sit top of the Premier League, had the most arrests pertaining to racist incidents last season, with twenty eight arrests.

Stoke came second in the list with twenty six while Sunderland sat third with a total of twenty five arrests pertaining to racist behaviour from fans. Although arrests relating to racist behaviour have significantly decreased over the past twenty years, the incident in Paris inspired a concerted effort to expel racism from football.