With Manchester United and Liverpool set to face off today, Erik ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp have called for an end to tragedy chants.
The rivalry between the two northwest clubs has always been a fierce one, but that has, at times, boiled over into unsavoury songs from the stands.
The Munich air crash and the Hillsborough disaster are dark days for humanity, and the use of these tragedies in football chants certainly crosses a line.
Managers Ten Hag and Klopp have issued a joint statement calling for fans to stop using chants that reference these events.
“The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the greatest in world football,” said Ten Hag.
“We all love the passion of the fans when our teams meet, but there are lines that should not be crossed.
“It is unacceptable to use the loss of life — in relation to any tragedy — to score points, and it is time for it to stop.
“Those responsible tarnish not only the reputation of our clubs but also, importantly, the reputation of themselves, the fans, and our great cities.”
“We do want the noise, we do want the occasion to be partisan and we do want the atmosphere to be electric,” Klopp said.
“What we do not want is anything that goes beyond this, and this applies especially to the kind of chants that have no place in football. If we can keep the passion and lose the poison it will be so much better for everyone.”
The statement concludes: “Together, Liverpool and Manchester United want to show the special and positive side of this wonderful rivalry between two great football clubs with proud but, at times, tragic histories.”
With England’s two most historic football clubs set to face off today, the hope will be that supporters on both sides can heed Ten Hag and Klopp’s plea and show everyone the respect they deserve.
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