Manchester City fans confuse new female South Korean signing for male on social media, sparking racist remarks

New Manchester City women’s team player Lee Geum-min poses with the club shirt.
PHOTO: Twitter/mancity

Manchester City supporters on Twitter were left red-faced after confusion over new signing Lee Geum-min on Wednesday.

"We're delighted to announce the signing of South Korean international striker Lee Geum-min!" wrote the official Manchester City Twitter account. Rather than welcome her to the club, many of the responses confused her for an expected male signing.

João Cancelo was widely expected to be signed for the Manchester City men's team. Cancelo's signing was later confirmed.

Asia football writer John Duerden pointed out the mistake when he retweeted the announcement from City.

"Man City fans don't seem to be very welcoming to a new signing that many assume to be a man and not a talented member of the South Korean women's team," he wrote.

Many Twitter users demanded that the club "announce Cancelo" as the Portuguese full back's signing for the men's team was set to be confirmed.

25-year-old Lee represented her country at the Women's World Cup in France this summer and arrives from Gyeongju KHNP.

Some fans were happy with the new arrival, even if they assumed Lee was signing for Pep Guardiola's English Premier League champions.

Twitter user Lee Kennedy was happy with the signing, if confused: "Nice one Who is he?" he wrote before being put right by other users. "Is he any good??" inquired a user called WIll in response to the club's tweet.

Some City fans were less enthusiastic. The Cat Master wrote: "It's not as if we're ever going to see him play for us anyway. He'll be loaned out to some other CFG club."

Fans of other clubs went further.

A user called TommyLFC weighed in. "Did he win a raffle or some s***? Or just opening the door for a couple more fans from Asia? Small club mentality."

Another, identifying as desi gooner, wrote, "Another promotional signing. The lad will rot in bench" while Reza Moalei called Lee's signing, "A Merchandising signing for Korean fans, not the Football itself."

Many comments on the announcement were outright racist or misogynistic.

At least some fans realised the error of their ways. A$AP Weetabix was among them. "Took me reading a few comments to realise this signing was for the women's team, I feel awful now," the user wrote.

Several users took the time to correct those under the impression Lee was a man.

Others demanded the club announce signings for the women's team on another Twitter account.

The new signing was positive on her arrival for last season's runners-up on a two-year deal.

"Manchester City - the name itself - is very attractive to me and I want to experience the English league," she said.

"I will do my best to impress and have a positive impact. I am very excited to join this team."

While Pep Guardiola's side begin the defence of their title with a trip to West Ham United on Saturday, Nick Cushing's team begin their English Women's Super League campaign with a Manchester derby on September 7.

This article was first published on South China Morning Post.

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