Manchester United urged to stop ‘racist’ Romelu Lukaku fan chant

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Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out has urged Manchester United to stop their fans from singing a “racist” chant about striker Romelu Lukaku.

Kick It Out had intervened after footage emerged of United fans singing the song, which goes to the tune of the Stone Roses hit Made of Stone, during the team’s 3-0 victory over Basel at Old Trafford in the Champions League last week.

The organization approached United directly in writing, asking them to act in a statement published by The Times a spokesperson for the organisation.

“Kick It Out is aware of the footage of the alleged racist chanting by supporters of Manchester United that emerged on Wednesday evening [13 September],” the statement reads. “The lyrics used in the chant are offensive and discriminatory. Racist stereotypes are never acceptable in football or wider society, irrespective of showing support for a player.”

“We have contacted Manchester United and will be working closely with them and the FA to ensure that the issue is addressed swiftly. The perpetrators can expect to face punishment.”

The chant was also believed to have been repeated during the Red Devil’s Sunday’s 4-0 win against Everton at the same venue when Lukaku, who joined United from the Merseyside club for a fee of £75m rising to £90m with add-ons in July, scored one goal and assisted another.

A blog by Manchester United has already asked the club’s fans to refrain from the song, although the club is also waiting to learn whether the chant about the Belgium forward is regarded as racist for criminal purposes and is therefore actionable.

“It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age,” United fan Scott Patterson wrote in a post on The Republik of Mancunia.

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager ‘really sick’ of poor defending

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Liverpool manager said he feels “really sick” with Liverpool’s defending after they conceded two poor goals. during a damaging defeat against Leicester City in the third round of the League Cup.

The Reds were also knocked out from the League Cup altogether after their 2-0 loss at Leicester, with the defeat also capping off a streak of four winless games in all competitions for the Merseyside club — a streak which also saw them concede 10 goals.

Despite making eight changes to the team that drew 1-1 against Burnley in the Premier League during the weekend, registering 21 shots at the King Power Stadium on top of 70% possession, Klopp’s team yielded no goals in the League Cup fixture.

Instead, it was Leicester who found the breakthrough at 69 minutes through Shinji Okazaki, which came after Liverpool failed to clear a corner and conceded yet another goal through set pieces — a problem that has plagued Liverpool since Klopp took over the club from Brendan Rodgers in 2015.

12 minutes later, Islam Slimani’s doubled Leicester’s lead through a superb left-footed shot following a throw-in, which in turn found the top-corner and effectively took the game out of Liverpool hands.

“The story of this game is really easy to tell,” Klopp said after the game, lamenting familiar failings. “We were the much better team in the first half, we didn’t score — that’s sometimes part of football. It was unlucky in one or two moments, maybe not clinical enough in others. But as long as we concede goals like we conceded today again, then it is quite difficult.”

“We should have scored three but as long as you leave games open, you have to defend. We always have to defend these situations better. The second ball after the corner, it’s close but it’s not offside. So we need to make it more clear that it’s offside.”

“The only thing you can do is to push up — we didn’t. With the second one it is a throw-in again. Everyone can imagine we know how to defend them but obviously we don’t do it, because always somebody else is doing it. It doesn’t feel too cool but it’s the truth.”

Bookmakers mistakenly adds late Ugo Ehiogu in odds for Birmingham post

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A bookmaker has apologized for mistakenly offering odds for a deceased to take up the position as coach of Birmingham City after the dismissal of Harry Redknapp last Saturday.

Ugo Ehiogu, a former centre-back who made more than 200 appearances for Aston Villa between 1991 and 2000 and then spent seven years at Middlesbrough, had four England caps under his name.

He passed away in April at the age of 44 following a cardiac arrest on 20 April at Tottenham’s training ground, where he worked as a coach with their under-23 side.

Gambling firm Paddy Powers briefly advertised odds of 66-1 on ex-Aston Villa and England defender Ugo Ehiogu taking charge of the Championship club, and his inclusion provoked anger on social media.

Tom Wainwright said it was “sick” that punters could bet on the former centre-back, while David Kelly said it was “pretty poor taste”.

Replying to Twitter users individually, Paddy Power — which also offered odds of 2,500/1 on Brummie rocker Ozzy Osbourne replacing Redknapp — has apologised for a “genuine error”.

The company later issued a statement to the Press Association, saying: “This was a genuine error, a trader re-used an old market as a template for this one, and didn’t notice that Mr Ehiogu was included. Obviously, that was a mistake, one which was rectified as soon as it was spotted, within minutes.”

A spokesman said customers were able to put money on Ehiogu for “less than five minutes” before the error was discovered, adding that nobody actually placed that particular bet.

“We would like to apologise to Mr Ehiogu’s family if they did see the tweet,” he said. “It was obviously a mistake and no offence was meant.”

Koeman: Mourinho claim of Everton top-four finish ‘unrealistic’

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman says that his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho’s claims that the Merseyside club should be aiming for “at least” the top four this season is unrealistic.

Mourinho made the claim before his side completed a 4-0 win that Everton should be aiming for a top-four finish “at least” after having spent £140m in the summer transfer window.

Both teams were playing on level terms at Old Trafford following Antonio Valencia’s spectacular volley. Everton did not falter but instead attacked openly, with Wayne Rooney leading much of the offensive efforts.

However, a late flurry of goals then came for the Red Devils that sealed the game, starting with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on 83, Romelu Lukaku, on 89, and an Anthony Martial penalty in added time pushed United to joint-top with Manchester City, both teams having 13 points and 16 goals with two conceded after five matches.

The result condemned Koeman and his team to a fourth defeat in four games in all competitions, and they have failed to score in four consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since April 2006, including in their 3-0 Europa League defeat against Atalanta on Thursday.

It was almost reasonable that the Dutch manager did not conceal his frustration over Mourinho’s comments.

“I read the United programme and my colleague (Mourinho) told me about Everton spending £140m and so they need to go for the top four,” the Dutchman said. “If there’s anybody in this room and outside and sees this as something realistic for us, please comment. Be realistic. I’m not happy how we started the season, but please be a bit realistic about Everton. We need time, but it’s difficult in football.”

“Every manager in life has doubts. If you don’t win and you have a big number of players in your squad, you have doubts about how you need to start and the system to play. That is normal.”