Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (C) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 17, 2017. Oli SCARFF / AFP
Romelu Lukaku has asked Manchester United fans to “move on” from their controversial chant about the Belgium striker.
Lukaku has quickly become a favourite of United supporters since his close-season move from Everton, but their vocal praise of the star has angered anti-racism groups.
One United chant, to the tune of the Stone Roses’ Made of Stone, prompted anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out to protest as it used a stereotype about black men by referencing the size of Lukaku’s penis.
The 24-year-old, who has scored seven times for United this season, is pleased to be appreciated by the Old Trafford fans, but he wants the song to stop.
“Great backing since I joined #MUFC,” he was quoted as saying on United’s official Twitter account.
“Fans have meant well with their songs but let’s move on together. #RespectEachOther”
United contacted relevant bodies to see whether the song could be categorised as racism by the letter of the law, while saying in a statement they have a “zero tolerance towards all forms of discrimination”.
The club posted on social media ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup win over Burton Albion — in which Lukaku was an unused substitute — that “action will be taken against any offensive behaviour”, reminding supporters of the club’s commitment to racial harmony.