Manchester United will not be punished by the UEFA for their fans’ chants about Hillsborough during the Europa League tie against Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday, a UEFA spokesperson has confirmed.
Liverpool beat Manchester United 2-0 on a night when the Anfield outfit played some scintillating football against a heavily injury-hit Old Trafford side.
However, the game was marred by derogatory chants by Manchester United fans on the Hillsborough tragedy, that had led to the death of 96 Liverpool fans.
United escape sanctions
There were suggestions that the club should be fined for the chants of the fans, with past cases illustrating that this was the course of action that is usually taken up by the UEFA.
As reported by the Guardian, a spokesperson of UEFA has confirmed that the Old Trafford outfit, who did issue an official statement condemning the incident, will not be fined for their fans’ misdemeanour.
The report states:
Manchester United have avoided sanction for supporters’ chants about the Hillsborough disaster during last week’s Europa League defeat at Anfield.
Uefa said it would not be taking further action after United condemned fans who taunted Liverpool supporters about the 96 deaths that occurred at Hillsborough during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
There was also reported chanting regarding the Heysel disaster of 1985, when 39 people in the Juventus end were killed when a wall collapsed after clashes with Liverpool fans.
However, the chanting was not mentioned in the match officials’ reports and therefore no disciplinary proceedings were commenced.
Should Manchester United be reprimanded for their fans’ chants?
As recently as Friday, UEFA had fined Lazio for their fans’ chants against Sparta Prague on Friday, following their Europa League clash in Rome.
While it is quite clear that the European governing body can fine clubs for their fans’ chants, the rule also states that the match official’s report should mention the incident.
With as many as 6 officials at Anfield failing to hear the chants, or failing to mention it in the report, there is no doubt that the Liverpool fans would feel cheated. But, the Old Trafford outfit cannot be held guilty for the incompetence of the men responsible for officially reporting such incidents. But there is no doubt that the Red Devils have escaped the consequences due to mere technicalities.