Luton Town Condemned Offensive Hillsborough Chants Aimed at Liverpool Fans During Match:
Luton Town Football Club has strongly condemned fans who chanted offensive songs during the match against Liverpool on Sunday. The chants referenced the Hillsborough disaster and were directed at Liverpool supporters.
The Club said they will review footage to identify individuals involved. Perpetrators face potential stadium bans and criminal charges. Luton apologized to anyone offended by the chants and said they will continue working with fan groups to educate against such harmful chants.
The English Football Association also condemned the chants, calling them unacceptable. The Premier League likewise criticized the behavior and pledged to make addressing it a priority. Offenders risk automatic club bans and police referral.
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) November 6, 2023
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, though unaware during the match, later denounced the chants as shameful.
The Hillsborough disaster occurred in 1989 when 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives due to overcrowding at Hillsborough Stadium during an FA Cup match. It remains the worst stadium-related disaster in British sports history. Liverpool supporters have endured offensive chants referencing the tragedy for decades.
This recent incident comes amidst increased scrutiny around fan behavior and penalties for offensive chanting in English football. New prevention and enforcement measures were introduced this season, including undercover spotters in crowds and lifetime bans for repeat offenders.
Luton Town and Liverpool have had a largely positive relationship over the years. The two clubs met in the 1959 FA Cup final, with Luton Town pulling off a major upset victory. Liverpool FC offered support after the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire heavily damaged Luton Town’s stadium.
The offensive chants reportedly started in the opening minutes from around 200 Luton supporters seated in the Kenny End of Kenilworth Road stadium. Anti-discrimination groups like Kick It Out strongly condemned the chants as damaging and unacceptable.
Luton CEO Gary Sweet said the chanting showed a “great lack of emotion or brains” and promised strong re-education for those involved. Liverpool FC released a statement backing punishments and urging a full investigation.
Hillsborough support groups also spoke out against the chants. Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said the chants prolonged the suffering of family members impacted by the 1989 disaster.
The match ended 1-1 after late goals from Luton’s Tahith Chong and Liverpool’s Luis Díaz. The draw preserved Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League record as they sit third in the 2022-23 table.