Ahead of Chelsea’s game with Paris Saint-Germain this coming Tuesday 17th February, the Chelsea Supporters Trust was contacted by a number of concerned members regarding the experiences disabled Chelsea supporters suffered at the Parc des Princes during last year’s fixture in the Champions League quarter-final.
The club has advised that they are taking appropriate action to try and avoid any repetition. They are liaising with PSG officials and are in dialogue with our travelling disabled supporters. There will also be a club representative situated in the section of the ground designated for disabled away supporters to monitor proceedings during the match.
The deplorable incidents of last year, involving our supporters being threatened and spat at and having verbal abuse and missiles thrown in their direction, occurred as a direct result of PSG siting away disabled supporters in front of home fans. UEFA’s original decision to demand the French club play one Champions League game with a part-closure of their stadium was subsequently reduced to a €50,000 fine, something the CST considered a very soft punishment for not only the abuse of supporters, but also for the fact that it was allowed by a club of PSG’s means to occur. Last September’s Fans Forum minutes made clear the club’s disappointment at the verdict, but that they were unable to take any further action.
The CST believes these decisions put UEFA’s commitment towards the eradication of discrimination across European football in a bad light. While Paris Saint-Germain were ordered to make ‘specific transformations’ to the Parc des Princes, it is unfortunate that the timing of this game has made it unlikely for these to have occurred in time.
Disabled supporters have the right, as do all football supporters, to attend games without threat or harassment and we hope all travelling Chelsea supporters, disabled and able-bodied, have a safe, enjoyable and successful trip to Paris.