Impose life bans on fans guilty of vile chants, says Hillsborough campaigner

 

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The Independent Online

Margaret Aspinall, a member of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, has called for lifetime bans to be handed out to anyone making offensive gestures or singing insulting chants about deaths in football tragedies.

Aspinall was at Anfield on Sunday as Liverpool paid tribute to the work done in the search for justice following the publication of the independent panel's report exonerating fans for the deaths of 96 people in the 1989 disaster.

Both sets of supporters acted respectfully throughout, until after the final whistle when a couple of Liverpool supporters goaded the Manchester United contingent with a Munich gesture in reference to the 1958 crash which killed eight United players and 15 others.

The response of the United fans to the taunts was depressingly predictable, chanting "Always the victims" and "Murderers" – reminders of the Merseyside club's own tragedies at Hillsborough and Heysel.

Aspinall did not witness the incident, but felt it was time action was taken against the perpetrators. "Even if I had heard it, it wouldn't have mattered because there were only a few morons," she said yesterday. "If they get caught on CCTV they should not get a second chance – ban them for life so they can never go to a match again."

 

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Meanwhile, referee Mark Halsey has made a complaint to Greater Manchester Police after receiving two abusive tweets. Halsey received the insulting messages on Twitter, referencing his battle with throat cancer in 2009, after taking charge of Liverpool's contentious 2-1 defeat against Manchester United. The 51-year-old has now asked the police to investigate the matter.

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