Man Utd avoid Uefa action over chants


Liverpool and Manchester United met for the first time in European competition when they played in the Europa League last week

Manchester United will not be punished by Uefa after some of their fans sang about the Hillsborough disaster during a Europa League defeat at Liverpool.

Offensive chants were heard during Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Anfield in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough between the Reds and Nottingham Forest in 1989.

Uefa decided to take no action as the chanting was not mentioned in the match officials’ reports.

However, officials are set to pay closer attention to chants when the teams meet for the return leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.

United have said such incidents “have no place in the game”.

The Old Trafford club have previously been subject to offensive chants themselves concerning the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which eight players and three club officials were among 23 people who lost their lives in a crash following a European Cup tie.

Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton told BBC Radio 5 live the chants at Anfield last Thursday were “dreadful”, while ex-Manchester United striker Dion Dublin called them “disgusting”.

A story in the Sun newspaper four days after the Hillsborough disaster criticised the behaviour of Liverpool fans at the game. The newspaper is still widely boycotted in Merseyside as a result.

“There were chants during the first half – ‘the Sun was right’, referring to the Hillsborough tragedy,” said BBC Sport’s Juliette Ferrington, who was at Anfield.

“It wasn’t continuous but it was clearly audible, maybe four or five times. It kind of got drowned out. The noise at the game was deafening.

“It happened again just after the full-time whistle – it was drowned out by: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘we won it five times’ [a reference to Liverpool’s five European Cup triumphs]. There was lots of saddened head-shaking in the press-box.”

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