Liverpool and Manchester City attempted to pay tribute to the 97 who lost their lives at Hillsborough in April 1989 ahead of their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester City hit out at a minority of their own supporters who broke a minute’s silence over the Hillsborough disaster.
Liverpool and City attempted to pay tribute to the 97 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough in April 1989 ahead of their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon. A small section of City supporters interrupted the minute’s silence which referee Michael Oliver had to cut short and the reigning Premier League champions issued a statement condemning their actions.
The club said: “Manchester City are extremely disappointed with the actions of some City supporters during the minute’s silence ahead of today’s game. The club sincerely apologizes to everyone connected with Liverpool Football Club. ”
Pep Guardiola reiterated the club’s stance, adding: “I think Manchester City have made a statement. It’s not Manchester City. We are close to the Liverpool club for the tragedy that happened years ago. . We’re on their side. After these guys sang (that) doesn’t represent who we are.”
Gary Lineker, who was presenting the clash on the BBC, read the statement at half-time with Liverpool 3-0 ahead of their rivals as the former Tottenham striker expressed his disappointment. He said: “News I want to read before continuing, this game was to be preceded by a minute’s silence for the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
“It was cut short by referee Michael Oliver after some persistent chanting from the City side, which is obviously disappointing.”
It comes a week after City launched an investigation into an incident showing two fans allegedly mocking the Hillsborough disaster in their 2-2 league draw with Liverpool.
Footage has circulated on social media following the thrilling clash at Etihad which saw two City supporters apparently making obscene gestures referencing Hillsborough towards opposition fans. The Echo of Liverpool claimed City officials had looked into the incident and were taking the matter seriously.
The person who originally shared the clip on Twitter said: ‘All for the football banter and that, but draw the line with Hillsborough.
The Reds are on course to secure a place in the final after a dominant first half at Wembley. Ibrahima Konaté opened the scoring with a header before a brace from Sadio Mane gave Jurgen Klopp’s men a 3-0 lead at half-time. Jack Grealish gave City a lifeline as Pep Guardiola’s side made it 3-1 immediately after the break.