Leeds ‘will urge fans to change lyrics of Wilfried Gnonto chant’ after criticism for playing on racial stereotypes

LEEDS are set to ask fans to alter their Wilfried Gnonto song amid condemnation for it using a racial stereotype.

The Italian has recently burst onto the scene for Jesse Marsch’s side, having started the season playing for their reserves.


Wilfried Gnonto has recently burst onto the scene with LeedsCredit: Getty

Azzurri international Gnonto, 19, has quickly become a hit at Elland Road, but Leeds will urge fans to show their support in a more respectful manner.

According to the Mail, changing the chant will be top of the club’s agenda as they meet with the Supporters Advisory Board next week.

The chant, sung to the tune of La Bamba, references the size of Gnonto’s manhood.

It first hit the terraces in November when Gnonto made his home debut for the club.

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Leeds tried to amend the lyrics by posting a more respectful version to social media.

But the original lines have since persisted and were sung during Leeds’ 2-2 draw with West Ham, this week, in which Gnonto scored.

A Kick It Out statement said: “While we believe the majority of fans singing this chant are not doing so with racist intent, we would stress that racial stereotypes are harmful and offensive, irrespective of the intention to show support for a player.

“We urge fans to show support with family-friendly language. We will be working closely with Leeds to ensure action is taken.”

And an FA spokesperson added: “We strongly condemn any offensive, abusive and discriminatory chants in stadiums and are determined to stamp this behaviour out.

“It must stop, and we support any club and their fans who try to eradicate this from the terraces.”

Sunderland’s Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo has been the subject of a similar song this season.

The 20-year-old said in a video posted to the Black Cats’ social media last month: “Sunderland fans, I love your energy. Hearing you sing my name is incredible, but we need to be respectful.

“Let’s change the song, keep the noise and move forward together.”

Former Red Devil Romelu Lukaku said of a controversial 2017 chant from Man United supporters: “Fans have meant well with their songs but let’s move on together.”

While Ivan Toney urged Peterborough fans to change their chant about him during his time at London Road, saying: “It is great to feel loved by the fans.

“Whilst the song is not offensive to me, it would be great to hear a new family version of the song so all of the young supporters in the stadium can join in too.”

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