Liverpool have reportedly invited both BBC News and Sky Sports to meet with club representatives to discuss the story surrounding the Hillsborough disaster. Sky commentator Martin Tyler came under fire on Friday morning after he appeared to link the disaster with hooliganism.
Tyler appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday to mark the Premier League’s 30th anniversary. And he said: “It was a great adventure and 3,000 live matches later – not all commented by me luckily for the audience – it seems it worked. You have to remember that football was in a bit of a crisis at that time. We weren’t chasing Hillsborough and other hooligan-related issues that long either, so it was a really tough time for the game overall.”
Tyler’s wording was widely condemned and he later apologized. “Discussing several crises this morning confronting football 30 years ago, I referred to some examples, including the Hillsborough disaster and also controversy over match hooliganism,” the veteran broadcaster acknowledged.
“These are two separate matters. There is no connection whatsoever between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism. I know that and I wasn’t suggesting that it was. I offer my sincere and sincere apologies for any misunderstanding.”
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The Hillsborough disaster occurred during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, in which 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives. Families campaigned for 27 years to legally establish how the disaster had been caused, with a 2016 inquest finding that those who died had been unlawfully killed.
Tyler’s comments come after Liverpool released a statement earlier this year condemning chants from opposition supporters. “Liverpool FC is saddened by the recent surge in despicable chants about the Hillsborough disaster,” the club wrote in April. “We know the impact these horrific statements have on the families of the 97, those who survived and all those associated with this club.
“We are working with the relevant authorities to do our utmost to ensure that these chants are eradicated from football altogether and, where necessary, relegate the full force of the law and the sanctions process of the game to those who remain. to sing.”