A Tottenham fan has been banned from attending football matches for three years after he was found guilty of mocking the Hillsborough disaster, The Guardian have revealed.
The incident occurred on April 30 during Spurs‘ 3-4 Premier League defeat at Anfield, with the fan in question, who has been identified as Kieron Darlow, 25, making unsavoury gestures at Liverpool fans regarding the Hillsborough disaster.
Ninety-seven football fans died as a result of a crush at Hillsborough in 1989, with an inquest jury ruling in 2016 that they were unlawfully killed amid a number of police errors (Evening Standard).
The tragedy has understandably had a deep emotional impact on Liverpool fans and the city in general.
Tottenham fan handed three-year football-wide ban
It has now emerged that Darlow made a gesture to the Liverpool fans during the game back in April which was supposed to suggest that fans without tickets were to blame for the tragedy.
He has admitted to his actions and accepted his charges, with Tottenham expressing their solidarity with those affected by the tragedy and stating in no uncertain terms that mocking the disaster has no place in football.
The Club can confirm that one of its supporters has been banned from attending matches for three years after being found guilty of mocking the Hillsborough disaster during our trip to Liverpool in April. We are appalled by this behaviour and have cooperated fully with the Police…
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 13, 2023
Andrew Page, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, is quoted as telling The Guardian: “Darlow admitted making a gesture towards the Liverpool fans and that this was a reference to the Hillsborough disaster.
“He admitted that this was to suggest that fans without tickets had pushed forward in the tragedy and had been partly to blame for the crush that led to so many deaths.
“He accepted at court that it was his intention that Liverpool fans should see this and that it would cause them harassment, alarm and distress. He admitted that his behaviour was unacceptable and regrets his actions.
“Darlow knew what he was doing and it was done knowing what an impact the Hillsborough tragedy had on Liverpool fans and the city of Liverpool but he did it anyway. This sort of behaviour is not only morally unacceptable, it is criminal.
“We hope this prosecution sends a message out to all football fans that their behaviour at football games is important and that, if it crosses into criminality, they will be met with the full force of the law.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While the tribal nature of football is one of the main reasons many of us love the sport, some fans regrettably think it is okay to cross the line with gestures like this one.
The Hillsborough Tragedy was a heartbreaking moment not just for Liverpool fans but football fans in general and mocking it has no place in the game.
Hopefully, this punishment will send a stern message and prevent others from acting in such an appalling fashion.
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