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.