Romelu Lukaku has once again called on Manchester United’s fans to stop singing a racist chant about him and admits that the controversy it has sparked has taken attention away from his performances on the pitch.
Both the Football Association and the anti-discrimination body Kick It Out called for United to take action after the chant, which is based on racial stereotyping, was heard being sung during the side’s 4-0 win over Everton.
Despite Lukaku’s initial pleas for fans to “move on” from the song, the chant re-emerged during United’s 1-0 win at Southampton.
Mino Raiola, Lukaku’s agent, told The Times: “He would like this song to stop. They are talking more about the song than about his football. That’s his and my quote.”
Lukaku previously released a statement via the club’s official Twitter account, saying: “Fans have meant well with their songs, but let’s move on together.”
But a small minority of United fans ignored Lukaku’s request on Saturday at St Mary’s and followed the racist song with chants of: “We’re Man United, we’ll sing what we want.”
United subsequently released a statement in which they said the club had asked for CCTV footage from Southampton and threatened to take action against the guilty culprits.
“The club and player have been clear in asking for an end to the chant,” the statement read.
“The club has worked with relevant bodies and supporters’ groups in trying to eradicate any offensive behaviour and will take further action against individuals if this continues.
“The club is in discussion with the police and has asked for CCTV footage from Southampton and will try to identify those who disrespected the player’s wishes not to sing the song.”
Kick It Out also issued a statement in the wake of Saturday’s game, saying it was aware of “repeated racist chanting by Manchester United supporters”.
“Lukaku himself has requested the supporters ‘move on’ from singing the chant in question and Manchester United now has a responsibility to ensure the request is complied with.”
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