International Soccer

Wednesday Ticker: Hillsborough details emerge, Iniesta injured and more

Hillsborough (Getty Images)

More than two decades after the tragic events at Hillsborough Stadium that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans, an independent investigation has uncovered and revealed some disturbing details about the incident.

According to a report released Wednesday, police and security authorities, who deflected the blame for the 1989 stampede on Liverpool fans and covered up the true details, could have done more to prevent the incident, and as many as 41 of the 96 who perished could have survived had they received treatement in a more timely manner. 

"It is evident from analysis of the various investigations that from the outset South Yorkshire Police sought to deflect responsibility for the disaster on to Liverpool fans," the Hillsborough Independent Panel determined. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a public apology, saying, ''New evidence that we are presented with today makes clear that these families have suffered a double injustice. The injustice of the appalling events, the failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the indefensible wait to get to the truth, and the injustice of the denigration of the deceased – that they were somehow at fault for their own deaths. On behalf of the government – and indeed our country – I am profoundly sorry for this double injustice that has been left uncorrected for so long."

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Reinging UEFA Best Player in Europe award winner Andres Iniesta is facing up to the next 15 days on the sidelines after suffering a muscle strain in Spain's 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Georgia on Tuesday.

As a result, Iniesta will miss Barcelona's UEFA Champions League opener against Spartak Moscow in addition to a league game against a Getafe side that has already sprung an upset of Real Madrid earlier this La Liga season.


Netherlands and Manchester United fans held their collective breath as Robin van Persie was forced out of Tuesday's World Cup qualifying win over Hungary with a thigh injury, but according to Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, there is little cause for concern. Van Gaal claimed that Van Persie was taken off as a precaution and that the injury is not serious.

With Wayne Rooney already on the shelf as he recovers from a gash to his thigh, United did not want to see Van Persie, their major summer acquisition, go down for an extended period of time. It is unclear whether Van Persie will miss any matches for the Red Devils.

The news comes on the heels of United's other big acquisition, Shinji Kagawa, claiming that the back injury that prevented him from playing in Japan's World Cup qualifier against Iraq will not keep him out for a long period of time either.


Even after a busy transfer period for Fulham, one that saw some of the team's biggest names change addresses, the club is not done rebuilding. Fulham signed Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis on a free transfer, adding the 35-year-old midfielder who most recently played for Panathinaikos.

Karagounis, who had been linked to MLS through various reports and has a record 120 caps for Greece, will be with Fulham until the end of this season. He was a vital part of Greece's Euro 2012 team that made it to the knockout stage, but he was suspended for the quarterfinal match against Germany after accumulating a second yellow in the group finale and watched as hide bowed out.


What do you make of the Hillsborough findings? Do you see Barcelona suffering over the next two weeks without Iniesta? Relieved that Van Persie's injury does not appear to be serious? Do you think Karagounis will prove to be a valuable asset for Fulham?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Eddie

    The depth of the coverup, ineptitude, and long-term smear campaign is astonishing. Let’s hope those poor families can now actually get some justice.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    Anyone who listend to the Liverpool fans who were at Hillsborough has known the truth for a long time. At least now the government will stop lying about it.


  • wides

    So disturbing…

    Some of the findings of the report include:
    • 31 victims could have had reversible asphyxia after the 3.15pm cut off point.
    • 28 victims did not have obstruction of blood circulation and that 31 had evidence of heart and lung function post 3.15pm.
    • Police took blood alcohol levels from children and the dead.
    • If no alcohol was found, police ran criminal records checks on victims.
    • 164 statements were amended, including those of ambulance service personnel.

    May the families finally receive some peace that the truth is out.


  • BrianK

    I wonder what Steve Cohen,…formerly of Fox Soccer has to say for himself? Recall he was let go by Fox a few years ago for slamming the Liverpool fans in regards to Hillsborough.

    Sad all around.


  • Tony in Quakleand

    Sooo…. it didn’t happen in Liverpool. If the game had been in Liverpool, this wouldn’t have happened.


  • Old School

    Is that what you recall?

    I recall a man giving his opinion and eventually having his life threatened, family members lives threatened and eventually losing his entire career due to the constant harassment from these supposed associations to the tragedy.

    The man gave his opinion saying Liverpool supporters there also had a responsibility in this.

    …and they did.


  • wides

    Old School, you might want to read up on his “opinions”. They were based on complete fiction and a generally biased view that ignored the facts.

    He claimed repeatedly things that were proven false.

    “People showing up without ticket, hell bent in getting into somewhere where they shouldn’t be going because they don’t have tickets, is the root cause of [the Hillsborough Disaster].”


    “nobody discusses the 6-8,000 who showed up without tickets and my argument has always been, if those people don’t show up, this never happens”

    All independent reports have indicated that there were not excessive numbers of supporters. They were simply not directed properly:

    “Sheffield Wednesday FC’s own admission count system showed the terrace did not exceed its 10,100 capacity (for the Leppings Lane end). As part of their analysis, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) counted the number of [Liverpool] supporters entering the ground, including those through the turnstiles, through Gate C and even those who climbed over the turnstiles. They gave three admission figures based on their analysis. Their first figure was 9,267, their ‘best estimate’ was 9,734, and their third figure was a ‘maximum estimate’ of 10,124. The HSE report stated it was unlikely that the terrace exceeded 10,124 and that total admissions were approximately equal to the designated capacity of 10,100 people.”


  • Rory

    I remember the Liverpool fans threatening Cohen’s life and making sick antisemetic jokes. Oh wait, that was today on Twitter, where they told him to “get back in the oven” and not to “start up that fake holocaust lies.”

    I also remember Cohen correcting the 6-8k claim but insisting that his opinion was that Liverpool fans did this all the time so why wouldn’t they have done so at Hillsborough? Doubt him, go read Liverpool fan (and Spirit of Shankley founder) Nicky Allt’s book “The Boys from Mersey” in which he brags about, wait for it… sneaking into games without tickets by having large numbers of LFC fans wait until the last minute to bum rush the gates because they know the police will let them in! Why would anyone think they wouldn’t have done it in 1989 when they did it in the mid 90’s at Wolverhampton and were still doing it at Athens in 2007 for goodness sake, afterwords many a fellow LFC fan was heard to say “don’t they realize they could have caused another hillsborough.”

    Today’s panel’s findings do a good job of pointing out the horrible, horrible incompetant reaction to the disaster by both police and the ambulance service. All of it’s important parts were about what happened after the disaster…
    I wish the panel had released the footage from outside the stadium prior to kickoff, seems that would put it all to bed whether or not the fans were acting up and whether or not the police freaked out and panicked or if they had to open the outside gates because of fear of deaths at the turnstyle’s like they said. That footage appears to be the only evidence they did not release today.


  • Rory

    I had always understood it that someone or something had stopped the ambulances from reaching the stadium, I think initialy only one got to the pitch in a reasonable amount of time? That was just another tragedy in all this and one that everyone can agree was avoidible reguardless of whoever they want to blame for the initial disaster. I think the responsibility for the slow response because of whoever stopped these ambulances has been lost in the rush to get revenge on the police for their incompetance. I’d say whoever haulted the ambulances (and it could well have been SW Police or stadium employees or whoever) is very worried they will no longer be over looked.


  • Old School

    ..and the point remains: A man, in American, gave his opinion and had his/his family’s life threatened repeatedly.

    Nothing says “Justice” for the real victims like that, right?


  • BrianK

    Old School,

    That is exactly what I recall. He expressed his opinion,…slamming the conduct of the Liverpool supporters and he was let go by Fox.

    I wonder what he thinks now,…knowing that there was an effort to place the blame one the victims and that effort was engineered by the police. I am not condoning the actions of those who threatened him,….but I wonder if he has a different perspective knowing what we all know now. Understand? Or do you need more splain’in?

    Again,….sad all around.


  • Eddie

    Cohen hasn’t changed his mind. Sadly, he was on Twitter yesterday repeating the same lies and idiocy. This is the same little loser who laughed as he talked about chanting “murderers, murderers” at Liverpool fans in a pub in LA.

    He’s a disgusting person. He also has never provided any evidence that he or his family were threatened. But there will always be those whose hatred of a football club will let them believe anything, right Rory?


  • wides

    There were 2 CCTV tapes that were removed by person’s unknown and never recovered. Could this be the same footage ? I’m not sure.

    Did you see the ITV1 documentary on it ? Didn’t seem like there was any crowd unrest.

    I certainly don’t condone threatening someone or their family. But I can’t condone Cohen using a public platform to further perpetuate the lies that followed that horrible day.


  • Rory

    He chanted murderers about Heysel.

    But you can read his twitter handle and see threat after threat made towards him so I don’t know what evidence you think you deserve beyond that.

    I have no personal hatred of Liverpool or its fans. I do hate their behavior, like at Athens in 2007, and how quickly the British gov’t makes excuses for them, like at Athens in 2007 when the ambassador to Greece blamed it on the stadium and the police.


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