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'Race chant' Chelsea fans due to appear in court

The five men will appear in front of magistrates in Walthamstow but this is not a criminal hearing.

Credit: PA

The men were issued with summons following the incident ahead of Chelsea's Champions League match against Paris St Germain when a black man was prevented from getting onto the Paris Metro by fans chanting racial abuse.

Credit: PA

A football banning order is a civil not a criminal sanction. The summonses don't act as European Arrest Warrants and the fans can't be extradited to France on the basis of the summons.

In other words they are used as a preventative tactic and not a penalty for past behaviour. They are issued to stop known fans from travelling to matches to cause trouble either at home or abroad and were first introduced by the Football (Offences and Disorder) Act 1999.

According to the Home Office website football banning orders are issued by courts after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force or following a conviction for a football-related offence.

They can last for between three and 10 years and a breach of the order can lead to prison maximum six month prison sentence.