Manchester United avoid UEFA sanctions over chants

AFP , Monday 14 Mar 2016

Manchester United
Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis van Gaal (2R) looks towards Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016 (AFP)

Manchester United have escaped punishment from UEFA after some of their supporters sang about the Hillsborough disaster during last Thursday's Europa League clash at Liverpool.

English football's two most successful sides met for the first time in European competition last week, with Jurgen Klopp's side prevailing 2-0 in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Anfield.

However, the match was somewhat overshadowed by chants from sections of the travelling support referencing the 1989 Hillsborough disaster that saw 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

But a UEFA spokesman confirmed that United will not be sanctioned over the incident as the chanting was not mentioned in the match officials' reports.

Officials though are set to pay closer attention to chants when the two sides meet in the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday, while United have been quick to condemn the behaviour of those involved.

"It has always been the position of Manchester United that chants of this nature, which refer to historical tragedies, have no place in the game and do not reflect the values the club holds," the club said in a statement released last Friday.

"We are in discussion with our fans' groups to seek their support in preventing this type of behaviour in the future."

Thursday's chants from the away section were also reported to have focused on the Heysel disaster, when 39 fans died before the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool.

It is not the first time offensive chants have been heard during games between the northwest rivals, with United previously subjected to songs about the Munich air disaster that killed 23 people as the team flew back from a European game in 1958.

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