Leeds: England football club Liverpool FC will be taking action against fans after a racist banner against striker Divock Origi surfaced during the Champions League match against Genk on Wednesday (local time).
The banner showed Liverpool's Origi naked and promoted a racist stereotype which the club deemed offensive and inappropriate, Goal.com reported.
It was unfurled by Genk's fans at the Luminus Arena ahead of Liverpool's Champions League group stage clash with the team. The banner was later removed by stadium officials as it received severe backlash on social media.
This racist stereotype has its historical origins in the oppression of black men in America and it was used to show a sexual threat posed by African American men towards white women.
"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," Goal.com quoted an official statement of Liverpool.
"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," it added.
This is not the first incident of racism that has surfaced during football matches.
England's match against Bulgaria in the Euro 2020 qualifiers garnered attention for all the wrong reasons as the Three Lions' players had to suffer racial abuse at the Sofia Gardens in Bulgaria.
Three Lions' debutant Tyrone Mings had made the fourth official aware of abuse as he went on to say: "You hear that?"
"Because of racist behaviour which is interfering with the game, the referee has indicated he may have to suspend the match. Please be in no doubt that the game may be suspended and abandoned if racist behaviour continues," an announcement was made at the stadium during England-Bulgaria match to stop fans from making racial slurs.
England were 2-0 up at the time, following goals from Marcus Rashford and Ross Barkley.
A large group of fans who were wearing black hoodies were pictured showing their middle fingers and performing Nazi salutes towards the pitch.
UEFA has a three-step protocol to deal with racism. In the first step, an announcement is made at the stadium to instruct the crowd if there is any racist abuse.
In the second step, the players can leave the pitch while a second message is delivered to fans, before, finally, a decision is made whether to abandon or restart the match....