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Please stop tear-gassing supporters

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The racism storm (I preferred Butt Storm) shows no signs of abating after yesterday, which is somewhat unfortunate as it's eclipsed a) a good result and b) some frankly appalling behaviour from the Parisian police both before and after the match.

The use of riot police to control football supporters will be applauded by those inclined to see match-going fans as raving lunatics, no doubt pointing to video yesterday as evidence that Chelsea fans (and indeed all travelling fans) cannot be allowed in public without the tightest of controls.

But the truth is nowhere near as clear-cut as that, and the vast majority of supporters are peaceful, normal people who simply want to watch their team play. But thanks to the perception of football fans as vicious hooligans, it's everyone's treated the same way. It's not just Chelsea, of course -- every club that's travelled to Europe have their own horror stories -- but we've definitely got the most recent bad experience.

The use of tear gas and pepper spray by the Parisian riot police on match-going fans is uncalled for and thoroughly disproportionate to whatever problems Chelsea fans might be causing. Passing over control of travelling supporters to police armed with the tools to do violence to innocent people is a ridiculous idea, and that they then use those chemical weapons thoroughly unsurprising.

Some will be tempted to blame the supporters for digging our own grave by being associated with hooligans, but that's utter crap. The vast majority of travelling support at the Parc des Princes were blameless, decent folk, and that police apparently cannot differentiate them from troublemakers is absurd.

Stop tear-gassing fans. Stop pepper-spraying fans. This is not a war; we are not animals. Thank you.

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