Manchester City apologised to Liverpool and condemned supporters who chanted during a minute’s silence to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on Saturday.
Referee Michael Oliver cut short the commemoration to the victims from the 1989 crush before the FA Cup semifinal, which City lost 3-2 at Wembley Stadium.
“I would never have thought that this is Manchester City. Some people didn’t understand the situation and that’s not nice. That’s really wrong in that moment but you can’t change that and it’s nothing to do with City and we accept the apology,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said.
The chanting came from the end with City fans at the national football stadium and it was followed by boos from Liverpool supporters.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 16, 2022
Amid the noise, Oliver blew his whistle to signal a premature end to the intended period of silence that had seen both sets of players gather around the centre circle.
“Manchester City are extremely disappointed with the actions of some City supporters during the minute’s silence before today’s game,” City said in a statement.
“The club sincerely apologises to all those connected with Liverpool Football Club.”
A crush before the 1989 FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham at Hillsborough Stadium led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.
The 97th victim of the United Kingdom’s worst sports disaster was announced last year when Andrew Devine died at the age of 55 from long-term injuries sustained at Hillsborough. Liverpool coroner’s court concluded he was “unlawfully killed.”
In 2019, the police commander at Hillsborough David Duckenfield was found not guilty of gross negligence.
The families of the victims fought a decades-long campaign to see Duckenfield prosecuted over the 1989 disaster.
In 2016, after hearing two years of evidence, an inquest ruled they had been “unlawfully killed”, with jurors concluding policing decisions “caused or contributed” to the deaths, and amounted to “gross negligence”.
But the former officer was cleared by a jury following a six-week trial.