Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have spoken out about Manchester City fans interrupting today’s minute’s silence for the Hillsborough victims.
26 years ago today, 97 people went to a football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 95 of them died the same day, one died a few days later and the last death occurred a few years later.
Hillsborough is the greatest tragedy in British sporting history. It has the highest death toll in British sporting history. It was also completely avoidable.
As such, it is an event that should always be remembered and respected.
Liverpool and Manchester City contested the FA Cup semi-final today. As was the case last week, the two best club teams in the world produced an incredibly entertaining game of football. But before the game, Manchester City fans forced a minute’s silence which acknowledged Hillsborough’s casualties had been cut short.
Only corresponding Chelsea fans chanting Roman Abramovich’s name, City fans booed the moment of silence. It’s inexplicable. There is no second side to this question. There is no other point of view. Still, the specific fans who booed did so out of sheer spite against a fan base.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was asked about it after the match by ITV.
“Of course it’s not nice,” Klopp said.
“It’s clear it’s not right. But I’ve heard City release a statement about it before and that’s fine with me. At that time it was a really strange feeling because I thought that there were times in football when all rivalries should be put aside. This is one of those times but you can’t change it.
“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all the City fans.”
Predictably, Klopp was diplomatic and level-headed when talking about another team’s fan base. He explicitly stated that this group of people did not reflect Manchester City or its wider fan base.
“It’s not about Manchester City, it was a few people who obviously didn’t understand the situation.”
Pep Guardiola has been much less forgiving. Guardiola has made it clear that these fans don’t speak for him or the club he leads.
“Obviously the club made a statement that we support. [the moment’s silence] completely,” Guardiola said.
“These people do not represent who we are or who we want to be. And of course we stand with Liverpool for this tragedy suffered years ago. The moment of silence should be done. Again, they do not represent not who we are.”
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