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World football pays respect to Hillsborough victims

Liverpool legends Roy Evans, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush at the memorial service. Picture: Getty

Liverpool legends Roy Evans, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush at the memorial service. Picture: Getty

  • by MARTYN ZIEGLER
 

FIFA asked for all its member associations to fly flags at half-mast to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Sepp Blatter, president of the world governing body, also sent a letter to the Football Association expressing sympathy for the “innocent victims” of the tragedy in 1989 which saw 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives.

Blatter added that the disaster at an FA Cup semi-final had led to Britain taking the lead in improving stadium safety. He said in his letter: “Twenty-five years on from this dark day in the history of the game, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the 96 who so tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster, in remembrance of which the flags of Fifa’s member associations will today be flown at half-mast.

“While it is above all important to honour and remember the innocent victims of 15 April 1989, today we can also reflect on the determination of the British political and football authorities to ensure that something so terrible never happens again by introducing the highest standards for stadiums and stadium safety. The football community worldwide, whilst never forgetting the tragic circumstances that led to this change, is grateful to England for taking the lead in this area.”

Uefa president Michel Platini also issued a statement to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

Platini said: “The thoughts of Uefa and the European football family remain with the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy, 25 years ago.”

 

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