Late kick-offs to honour Hillsborough - FA

21 March 2014 12:46

Matches in England on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster next month will kick off seven minutes late as a mark of respect, the Football Association announced on Friday.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans lost their lives in the tragedy on April 15, 1989.

They were attending an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, northern England, which ended six minutes after kick-off.

"As a mark of respect and remembrance for those who lost their lives as a result of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in April 1989, all FA Cup, Premier League, Football League and Football Conference matches taking place on the weekend of 11-14 April will kick-off seven minutes later than originally scheduled," read a statement on the FA website.

The matches affected include the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic and Hull City and Sheffield United, as well as Liverpool's league game at home to Manchester City.

All the games will also be preceded by a minute's silence.

The 96 victims of the disaster -- Britain's worst sporting tragedy -- were killed in a crush caused by huge overcrowding on a standing terrace behind one of the goals.

Fresh investigations into their deaths are due to begin later this month, after the High Court in London quashed the original coroner's verdicts following a campaign led by relatives of those who died.

An investigation into police handling of the disaster is also underway, after evidence emerged that the local force, South Yorkshire Police, tried to cover up what had happened on the day of the tragedy.

Source: AFP