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Liverpool have strongly condemned the contents of a banner portraying Divock Origi in the away end at Genk.
The banner, hung from the second tier, contains a superimposed image of the Belgian striker holding an abnormally large penis in what is a recreation of a viral meme which became known as 'WhatsApp Guy'.
The flag also features the Liverpool badge and Champions League trophy to give a nod to Origi's heroics last season. But it has been quickly removed prior to kick off at the Luminous Arena, with Liverpool issuing a furious statement.
The Origi banner that was taken down in the Liverpool away end. pic.twitter.com/IXyXWAVmtS
- LLOYDIE (@mclloyd10) October 23, 2019
A Liverpool statement read: "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."
The inappropriate banner has put a dampener on Origi's return to first club Genk. The 24-year old started his career at the Belgian outfit, and spending nine years in the youth ranks before joining joining Lille as a 15-year old.
Origi's Belgian teammate Romelu Lukaku has also been the unfortunate victim of fans conforming to racial stereotypes. In 2017, the striker urged Manchester United supporters to stop singing a controversial chant referring to the size of his manhood.
Romelu: "Great backing since I joined #MUFC. Fans have meant well with their songs but let's move on together. #RespectEachOther"
- Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 21, 2017
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