Football

Bitter Rivals Manchester United And Liverpool Join Hands To Eradicate Tragedy Chanting

The FA Cup 2023-24 quarter-final between the two most successful clubs in England was marred by incidences of tragedy-related chanting by supporters. Manchester United beat Liverpool 4-3 at Old Trafford

There were incidences of tragedy chanting during the recent FA Cup clash between Manchester United and Liverpool. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
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Manchester United and Liverpool have joined forces to launch an initiative aimed at eradicating tragedy chanting. (More Football News)

The exhilarating FA Cup quarter-final between the two most successful clubs in England earlier this month – won 4-3 by United with a late goal in extra time – was marred by incidences of tragedy-related chanting by supporters.

With the two rivals set to meet again in the Premier League at Old Trafford on April 7, the charitable foundations of both clubs have come together to deliver an education programme focused on the impact such conduct can have.

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It is aimed at children in the hope that, by learning about the Munich and Hillsborough disasters at a young age, such behaviour will not be absorbed by the next generation and the problem will fade out.

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson and ex-United defender Wes Brown were both involved as a session for schoolchildren from both Manchester and Liverpool was held at the Lord Derby Academy in Huyton, Merseyside, on Wednesday.

Brown told the PA news agency: “It’s about the two biggest clubs in England and in world football coming together to a school, to talk about the tragedies that happened at each club and why we don’t need tragedy chanting.

“It’s about getting the kids to understand it. It doesn’t make them look cool, it doesn’t make them top boy or top girl.

“A lot of the times you copy off adults but, in this situation, nothing good comes from it. No-one wants it in football, the two clubs don’t want it, the players don’t want it.

“There are people from both clubs still in pain from the incidents that happened. It’s not something that in any way you can be happy about.”

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Thompson is pleased that both clubs, fierce rivals on the field, are working together on this issue.

He said: “This has been going on now for years and it needs to be identified.

“It’s not supporting your football club, tragedy chanting. What good is it? I’d rather have our fans singing Liverpool songs to boost us, to boost our morale, rather than have a go at, say, Manchester United. I’m quite sure United players are exactly the same.

“Why are you dragging us to the depths to be tragedy chanting when we need that support?

“We’ve just had one of the great FA Cup ties. Yes, we came out the wrong end but that anger and that frustration shouldn’t spill over into this. It was a wonderful game of football and we should have rejoiced in it.

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“I think we all need to have a good look at ourselves and, when we’re at these games, think that that’s wrong – because it is wrong, massively wrong – and don’t want to have any involvement.”

The two foundations are developing the programme in partnership with the Premier League and plan to make it an annual part of their engagement with tens of thousands of young people across the Greater Manchester and Merseyside regions.

John Shiels, CEO of Manchester United Foundation, said: “It is unacceptable to use the loss of life, in relation to any tragedy, to score points, and it is time for it to stop.

“We are proud to come together with LFC Foundation as we believe education will break the generational cycle on this issue and help thousands of young people across this region understand the impact tragedy-related abuse has.”

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