Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler has been widely criticized after appearing to have linked the Hillsborough disaster to “other hooligan-related issues” while speaking on BBC radio.
A total of 97 fans died as a result of the scrum that took place at Sheffield Wednesday Stadium on 15 April 1989 after attending an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
The 1990 Taylor Report investigating the tragedy ruled that a crowd control failure by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) was the main reason for the deaths, while a coroner’s inquiry between 2014 and 2016 ruled these supporters unlawfully killed were and that the behavior of the fans had no contribution to the disaster.
This was in contrast to stories from the SYP, which criticized Liverpool fans for arriving late, without tickets or drunk, all of which were refuted during the investigation, which highlighted the disaster was a failure of the emergency services – entirely unrelated Allegations of football hooliganism.
Tyler’s words on today Show therefore prompted an immediate backlash when he commented that “football was in a bit of a crisis at the time. We weren’t long after Hillsborough and other hooligan-related issues either.
“It was a very difficult time for the game in general.”
Liverpool City Area Mayor Steve Rotheram called Tyler’s comments “extremely blatant” and called for a retraction. “Even today, people whose careers are based on football spread these nasty graffiti. I hope there is a strong apology,” he wrote on Twitter.
Tyler had spoken ahead of the start of the 30th Premier League season which begins on Friday night.
Labor MP for Liverpool Wavertree, Paula Barker, also accused BBC Radio to allow Tyler to “perpetuate those lies” while journalists in the region did too required an apology and criticized the absence challenge to his “false assertion”.
The BBC has since released a brief statement apologizing for choosing not to “robustly question” Tyler’s words.
The 76-year-old has also tried to explain what he meant to say, pointing out that the two – Hillsborough and Hooligan issues – were different types of incidents that English football as a whole was dealing with at the time Start of the Premier League.
Earlier this summer, Tyler was forced to apologize on-air after Ukraine international Heorhiy Bushchan had to “keep fighting” during a game after sustaining an injury amid Russia’s invasion of the keeper’s nation.