Liverpool and United call on fans to stop ‘tragedy chanting’

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LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool and Manchester United have jointly called on fans to end “tragedy chanting” ahead of their Premier League match on Sunday at Anfield.

The longtime rivals issued a statement Saturday from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and United counterpart Erik ten Hag calling for an end to chants and online abuse about tragedies such as Munich and Hillsborough.

“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,” Ten Hag said. “Those responsible tarnish not only the reputation of our clubs but also, importantly, the reputation of themselves, the fans, and our great cities.”

The rivalry is intense but shouldn’t cross the line, Klopp said.

“We do want the occasion to be partisan and we do want the atmosphere to be electric,” the Liverpool manager said. “What we do not want is anything that goes beyond this and this applies especially to the kind of chants that have no place in football.

“If we can keep the passion and lose the poison, it will be so much better for everyone.”

The managers cited the Munich air disaster and the Hillsborough and Heysel stadium tragedies.

The Munich crash on Feb. 6, 1958 resulted in the deaths of 23 people, including eight United players.

Ninety-seven Liverpool supporters died from the crush at an overcrowded Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

At the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, 39 people died during violence.

In February, the Premier League said it would treat the issue as a “matter of urgency” after chants by Leeds and United fans during a match at Elland Road. Some Leeds fans goaded United supporters with chants about Munich, and some United supporters taunted the home crowd with chants about the death of Leeds fans in Istanbul in 2000.

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