Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Romelu Lukaku: United fans meant well but let's move on from chant

Romelu Lukaku knows Manchester United fans "meant well with their songs" but hopes everyone can move on from chanting Kick It Out called "racist".

The 24-year-old has swiftly established himself as a fans' favourite since his big-money summer switch from Everton, thanks in no small part to six goals in as many games.

Lukaku already has a couple of chants in his honour, although one to the tune of the Stone Roses' Made of Stone has caused controversy as it references the size of his penis - a song the striker hopes will stop.

"Great backing since I joined #MUFC," he was quoted as saying on the club's official Twitter account. "Fans have meant well with their songs but let's move on together. #RespectEachOther"

The song, using a stereotype about black men, led anti-discrimination body Kick It Out to call for action against the "racist" chant.

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 Carabao Cup match against Burton that "action will be taken against any offensive behaviour", reminding supporters of the club's commitment to inclusivity.

Press Association Sport understands stewards were briefed on the matter before the match and prepared to act where necessary, with United liaising with supporters' groups before kick-off.

Midway through the first half a chant to the tune of Made of Stone was heard at Old Trafford, with a pocket of fans chanting about Lukaku but having appeared to tweak the words.

"We'll sing what we want" would get a heartier rendition on a night where it is understood there were no arrests or complaints to the Greater Manchester Police.

Lukaku was an unused substitute in the 4-1 defeat of Burton, but is set to go back into the starting line-up as United return to Premier League action at Southampton on Saturday.

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