Liverpool are poised to pay a special tribute to the 34th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster – which will be on April 14 – in their upcoming huge Premier League game against Arsenal.
Even though the disaster should be mourned, some rival fans feel that it can be ‘great banter’ to sing offensive chants directed at the Hillsborough disaster – which happened in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989 at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
Liverpool fans have been taunted with such awful ‘tragedy chanting’ throughout the course of the 2022/23 season and it has only seemed to been aggravated even more in the second half of the campaign.
Most of the chants are aimed to call the Liverpool fans ‘murderers’. This is in reference to the Heysel Disaster that happened before the start of the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool. 39 fans died due to a breach from Liverpool supporters and English clubs were banned from UEFA for five years after that.
Some rival fans feel that it’s fair to hassle the Liverpool fans by using the Hillsborough tragedy as an example and using offensive chants to unnerve both the players on the pitch as well as those in the stands.
Hillsborough chanting becoming more frequent in Liverpool games
There have been prominent cases of rival fans mocking the Hillsborough disaster throughout the course of this season. This has only increased after the World Cup break and multiple cases of tragic chanting has been heard in the Reds’ matches over the last month or so.
Manchester United fans were accused of being involved in offensive chants in their embarrassing 7-0 loss to Liverpool last month and that seemed to indulge other fanbases too. Manchester City condemned the Hillsborough chants heard in their 4-1 win over Liverpool last week because of just how prominent and obvious they were.
The chanting happened once again at Stamford Bridge in Liverpool’s goalless draw against Chelsea recently, which provoked the London side to make a statement about it and say: “Hateful chanting has no place in football and we apologise to anyone who has been offended by them.”
The Premier League was forced into making a statement on the hateful chanting too, as they stated: “The Premier League condemns the tragic chanting heard at tonight’s match between Chelsea and Liverpool. We continue to treat this as an unacceptable issue and are seeking to address it as a priority.”
Arsenal makes classy tribute to Hillsborough tragedy
Amid all the controversies around fans from prominent Premier League sides mocking the tragedy, Arsenal proved that the clubs do not hold this same mentality at all. Ahead of their crucial Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and captain Martin Odegaard paid their respect to the Liverpool memorial for the Hillsborough disaster outside Anfield.
The Gunners’ Twitter account posted a tweet acknowledging this and captioned it with: “Our thoughts are with our friends at Liverpool FC and all the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster – April 15, 1989.”
Arteta and Odegaard could be seen laying flowers at the memorial and also holding a minute’s silence ahead of the trip to Anfield. Liverpool voiced their admiration for Arsenal’s commendable tribute, replying on Twitter: “The support of @Arsenal is as appreciated now as it was then.”
It was posted with a picture of Arsenal players paying tribute to the disaster in 1989. Arsenal’s heartwarming way to pay respect to the Hillsborough tragedy proves that even though they might have heated battles with Liverpool on the pitch, the Gunners will always be respectful in mourning the loss of lives in Hillsborough.
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