Liverpool escape punishment by UEFA over offensive Divock Origi banner
Liverpool have escaped punishment for an offensive banner that was unfurled at last month’s Champions League game in Genk as UEFA could not mount a case against them.
An image of a naked black man with Divock Origi’s head superimposed was on display in the away end before the European champions played their third match in Group E in Belgium.
It was highlighted and criticised on social media and when Liverpool officials became aware of it, they sent their own security staff into the visiting section to remove and destroy the banner.
Liverpool have escaped punishment by UEFA for a banner displayed by fans in Genk last month
Liverpool issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the actions of the fans responsible and vowed to take action if they could highlight those involved.
UEFA, however, have been unable to take action. No reference was made to the banner in the official reports that were submitted to governing body’s base in Nyon and that meant they were unable to open a case.
Liverpool temporarily suspended the fan responsible for the banner. It is understood the supporter has been denied access to any of the Reds matches, home or away, after a meeting of the club’s Sanctions Panel.
The banner depicting Origi was condemned by Liverpool and anti-racism groups
Any tickets he may have already purchased will be refunded.
A full investigation is being carried out by Liverpool – independent to that being conducted by UEFA and Belgian police – and, following the receipt of a letter and email, the fan was given 14 days to respond to the notice of his temporary ban.
The panel will meet again after a reply is received. Final punishments range from a full ban, a ban and education, education on its own or other minor sanctions.