liverpool reportedly invited BBC News and Sky Sports to meet with club representatives to discuss the narrative around the Hillsborough disaster. Sky commentator Martin Tyler came under fire on Friday morning after appearing to link the disaster to hooliganism.
Tyler appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday to mark the Premier League’s 30th anniversary this month. And he said: “It was a great adventure and 3,000 live games later – not all commented on by me luckily for the public – it looks like it worked. You have to remember football was in crisis at that time. We weren’t that long after Hillsborough and other hooligan issues, so it was a really tough time for the game in general.
Tyler’s phrasing was widely condemned and he later issued an apology. “This morning, in discussing various crises facing football 30 years ago, I brought up a few examples including the Hillsborough disaster and also the match hooliganism controversy,” the veteran broadcaster acknowledged.
“These are two separate issues. There is no connection between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism. I know it and I was not implying that there was. I sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize for any misunderstanding.
The Hillsborough disaster happened in the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest as 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives. The families campaigned for 27 years to legally establish the cause of the disaster, with an inquest in 2016 determining that those who died were unlawfully killed.
Tyler’s comments come after Liverpool issued a statement earlier this year condemning chanting by opposition supporters. “Liverpool FC are saddened by the recent increase in despicable chants about the Hillsborough disaster,” the club wrote in April. “We know the impact of these heinous insults on the families of 97, those who survived and everyone associated with this club.
“We are working with the relevant authorities to do all we can to ensure these chants are completely eradicated from football and, where appropriate, apply the full force of the law and the game’s sanctioning process to those who continue to sing them. “
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