11:43 AM ET
Park Ji-Sung won four league titles during his time at Manchester United. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Former Manchester United and South Korea midfielder Park Ji-Sung has asked supporters to stop singing a song about him that contains a negative stereotype about his homeland.
Park, who spent seven years at Old Trafford between 2005 and 2012, says the song is insulting because it suggests Korean people eat dog meat.
The words also include a derogatory reference to people from Liverpool and was sung from the stands during United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.
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“That particular word [dog meat] 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 an interview for the UTD Podcast.
“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.”
Park won four Premier League titles during his time at United and was capped more than 100 times by South Korea before retiring in 2014. He says he has been keen to speak out about the song after hearing it sung by United fans at Molineux in August when Wolves unveiled summer signing Hwang Hee-chan.
“I’m really sorry for him to hear that,” said Park.
“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, which is usually these days a racial insult to the Korean people.”
In an accompanying statement, United urged fans to stop singing the chant.
It read: “Manchester United fully supports Ji-sung’s comments and urges fans to respect his wishes.”
It is not the first time a United player has asked supporters to stop singing a song they found to be offensive. In 2017, Romelu Lukaku asked fans to refrain from using a chant about him based on a racial stereotype.