Liverpool fans in racism storm over banner of Divock Origi's 'manhood'

Liverpool race row as fans unfurl banner ‘perpetuating racist stereotype’ about Divock Origi’s manhood at Genk’s stadium before Anfield officials remove it and vow to ‘identify those responsible’

  • Liverpool fans unveil an obscene banner that mocks Divock Origi’s manhood
  • The offensive mock-up shows the striker holding an abnormally large penis
  • Supporters unfurled the banner ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash 
  • The graphic image was displayed in the away section of Genk’s Luminus Arena
  • Officials removed the banner while Liverpool have condemned those resposible 

Liverpool face a UEFA fine after their travelling fans unfurled a banner in Genk on Wednesday night that the club described as ‘highly offensive and inappropriate’.

The explicit image – a picture of Divock Origi superimposed on to a naked black man next to the European Cup – was on display for a short period before Liverpool security guards arrived to confiscate and destroy it 35 minutes before kick-off.

Club officials were furious, given the banner’s racial implications.

Liverpool fans unveil a graphic banner which mocks Divock Origi’s manhood

Supporters unfurl the banner in the away section ahead of kick off at the Luminus Arena

Origi (right) arrives at his former club’s stadium as he is named on the bench for the clash

UEFA did not comment on the matter last night but it is almost certain they will take action against Liverpool; a recent example came in May 2018 when Bayern Munich were fined €25,000 for an ‘illicit banner’ that was on display in their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.

Liverpool have vowed to take the strongest possible measures against the fan, or fans, who brought the banner into the Luminus Arena and they will be studying footage to identify those responsible for the mindless behaviour.

This will be the second time in the space of a month that Liverpool have found themselves the subject of disciplinary proceedings from UEFA – last month they were fined €10,000 following an incident of pitch encroachment by individual supporters when they Red Bull Salzburg 4-3.

A Liverpool spokesperson said: ‘Liverpool Football Club condemns the offensive banner displayed in our section of the ground, prior to kick off. To be clear, the image used perpetuated a racist stereotype. 

‘This is completely unacceptable. We acted swiftly to have the banner removed and we are now working with the local authorities and stadium team in Genk to identify those responsible. Any subsequent action will be taken in keeping with our sanctions process.’

Origi is a cult hero with Liverpool fans, having scored the goal that secured the 2-0 victory in last season’s Champions League final against Tottenham. The Belgium international, who started his career at Genk, was also on the mark twice in the epic semi-final defeat of Barcelona.

He signed a new long-term contract in the summer, having at one stage looked as if he might leave, but started last night’s game on the bench after Mohamed Salah recovered from injury.

Romelu Lukaku was the target of chants over his manhood from Manchester United fans

Haringey star Coby Rowe is restrained by security staff following an alleged racist incident

Chants referencing the size of a player’s manhood were directed at former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who urged fans to stop singing the offensive songs in September 2017.  

Wednesday’s incident comes days after an FA Cup tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned when players walked off the field following allegations of racist abuse.

That came just a week after England stars Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Marcus Rashford were all racially abused during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Bulgaria in Sofia. 

Several of England’s black players were racially abused during their game with Bulgaria

A section of the Bulgaria fans were seen making the Nazi salute during the Euro 2020 qualifier

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp condemned racist abuse last season, by saying: ‘It’s disgusting, another example of something which absolutely should not happen.

‘It’s still only a few people doing it, but the stronger the reaction is from all of us, the more it will help to avoid things like this in the future.

‘If you do something like that, you should not be able to enter a stadium again, in my point of view, in your life.’

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was also racially abused during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle. 

Alfredo Morelos was allegedly the target of racist abuse from Hearts fans in Sunday’s 1-1 draw

Hearts have vowed to root out the racists after opening an investigation into allegations after the Colombian striker was allegedly targeted by punters during goal celebrations following his equaliser.

Hearts issued a statement declaring: ‘The club is aware of the incident in question and is currently investigating it.

‘It goes without saying that Heart of Midlothian Football Club utterly condemns any form of racism — and any individuals found guilty of such an offence will face an indefinite ban from Tynecastle Park.’

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