Jose Mourinho has called on Manchester United and Liverpool fans to be respectful in the terraces when the two sides meet on Monday night.
Derogatory chants between Man United and Liverpool fans – often including references to the Munich air disaster, the Hillsborough tragedy and the Heysel disaster – have been prevalent in recent years.
Both clubs released a joint statement yesterday, calling for supporters from both sides to act in a responsible and respectful manner on Monday night.
When asked whether he endorsed the joint statement produced by Liverpool and United, Mourinho said: “Of course. In football we have some football ‘tragedies’ that you can make fun of.
“The human tragedy is much more serious and not the thing somebody should use on a football pitch. These need our respect, so I would be really sad if in such big match that was a negative point.”
Giving opposition fans stick can be seen as a fundamental aspect of life as a football fan. It will, after all, always be an enjoyable activity to remind Liverpool fans that, yes, you nearly won the league but, alas, Gerrard f****d it up.
But those that mock opposition supporters on the pretext of innocent fans or players losing their lives should be ashamed. Imagine losing a loved one in a horrible freak accident, only to then see opposition supporters actively making fun of your bereavement.
This really comes down to a matter of common decency, of being a civilised human being. If, as Arsene Wenger diligently points out, supporters who made these disgusting remarks were recorded on video, and then replayed for their family and friends to see, they’d feel pretty embarrassed, and wouldn’t do it again.
Monday’s encounter will hopefully be remembered for what happens on the pitch, as opposed to what happens off it.