GENK, Belgium (Reuters) – Liverpool have condemned a graphic “racist” banner unfurled by fans before the start of their Champions League Group E clash away at Racing Genk on Wednesday.
The banner, displayed in an area populated by travelling fans, depicted Liverpool’s Belgian striker Divock Origi’s head on a naked body, alongside the Champions League trophy.
In a statement released shortly before kick-off Liverpool said they had acted swiftly to have the banner removed, saying it “perpetuated a racist stereotype”.
“This is completely unacceptable,” a club statement said. “Liverpool Football Club condemns the offensive banner displayed in our section of the ground, prior to kick-off.
“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.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)