FA wants United to take action over Lukaku chant

LONDON • The Football Association (FA) has asked Manchester United to reveal what steps they are taking to stop fans from singing a controversial song about their Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.

The Times revealed on Tuesday that Kick It Out had written to United, urging the club to ban the song at Old Trafford.

The anti-discrimination group feels the chant, which has been heard at the past two United home games, is offensive, discriminatory and enforces racist stereotypes.

"We have contacted Manchester United regarding the issue and will be working closely with them and the FA to ensure that it is addressed swiftly," Kick it Out said.

The FA is understood to have contacted United to ask what measures they are taking to deal with the chant that mentions the size of the striker's penis amid fears that it could be construed as racist or offensive.

The FA also said it had not launched an investigation, but wanted to be kept abreast of what United were doing.

English football's governing body has the power to fine clubs whose fans are guilty of singing racist songs.

United have promised to meet Kick It Out, Greater Manchester police and supporters' groups to discuss the chant. The club are waiting to learn whether the chant is considered to be racist in a legal sense and is therefore actionable.

Section three of the Football (Offences) Act 1991 makes it an offence to engage or take part in chanting of an indecent or racialist nature in connection with a designated football match.

"Racialist nature" is defined as "consisting of or including matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting to a person by reason of his colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins".

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2017, with the headline 'FA wants United to take action over Lukaku chant'. Print Edition | Subscribe