Manchester United will not face punishment for their fans’ chants during the club’s Europa League defeat to rivals Liverpool, it has been confirmed.
During United’s 2-0 defeat, angry supporters of the club decided to take out their frustrations on the assembled Liverpool crowd, making mocking chants which referenced the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy that saw 96 people die during the Merseyside club’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. However, Uefa have stated that as the chants were not mentioned in the officials’ post-match report, no further action will take place.
This is a ludicrous stance for Uefa to take. Although Manchester United were in no way responsible for the chants, and have publicly condemned them in a statement released after the match, it is a virtual impossibility for the fans responsible for them to be punished individually, meaning that the only way to prevent this behaviour from continuing is to go straight for the club. Uefa overlooking these obscene chants means that they’ve essentially condoned them, and should therefore expect them to arise in the future.
At least United appear to be working towards preventing this situation from escalating any further, with a club statement reading: “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. We are in discussion with our fans’ groups to seek their support in preventing this type of behaviour in the future.”
With that being said, it should be Uefa holding United’s fans accountable for their actions, with their complete lack of control over the situation more or less ensuring that the second leg of the two clubs’ Europa League clash will not be without incident.