London (AFP) – Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung has urged the Premier League club’s supporters to ditch an offensive chant about South Koreans.
Park was a firm favourite of United fans, who created a song in the South Korean’s honour during his seven years at Old Trafford.
The chant, still heard among United fans to this day, includes a disparaging line about Koreans eating dog meat.
Park, now retired, wants to educate supporters about why the words are unacceptable.
The 40-year-old felt compelled to raise the issue after United fans sang it at Molineux when Wolves unveiled their new Korean striker Hwang Hee-chan in August.
“I’m really sorry for him to hear that,” Park told the UTD podcast.
“I know that United fans don’t mean any offence to him for that song but still I have to educate the fans to stop that word (dog meat), which is usually these days a racial insult to the Korean people.”
Park made more than 200 United appearances after joining from PSV Eindhoven in 2005.
He won four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008. He earned 100 caps for South Korea and played at three World Cups.
“That particular word is very discomforting for Korean people, and I really feel very sorry for the younger players who heard that kind of song,” Park said.
“In Korea, things have changed a lot. It is true that historically we have eaten dog meat but these days, particularly the younger generation, they really hate it. The culture has changed.
“I really request the fans to stop singing that word. It causes discomfort to Korean people when they hear that song. It’s time to stop.”
United backed Park in a statement that read: “Manchester United fully supports Ji-sung’s comments and urges fans to respect his wishes.”
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