Liverpool FC’s planned victory parade on Sunday has sparked unease from a representative of the victims of the Heysel Stadium disaster as it coincides with the 37th anniversary of the tragedy.
Liverpool, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday, are planning a celebration in their hometown after a season in which they have already won the two main domestic cup competitions in England and finished second in the Premier League . Sunday also marks the anniversary of the Heysel disaster in which 39 supporters of Italian club Juventus were killed when a wall collapsed after Liverpool supporters charged at them ahead of the European Cup final. Europe in Brussels in 1985.
“To link a Liverpool celebration to May 29 is a bit shocking,” said Andrea Lorentini, who heads the Heysel Families Victims Association and lost her father. “Given what their fans did that night, in my view, May 29 for Liverpool should be a day of mea culpa and reflection, of heartfelt remembrance,” he told Reuters.
Liverpool FC are aware of the issue and acknowledged it when announcing plans for the parade https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/announcements/453831-liverpool-fc-victory-parade-to-take- place-on-may-29 which will take place on Sunday afternoon. “As the date for the Victory Parade falls on the anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster, throughout the morning the LFC, supported by Liverpool City Council, will pay tribute to the 39 supporters who lost their lives this day,” the club said on their website.
The parade takes place at the invitation of Liverpool City Council who wanted it on a weekend. Most Liverpool players will leave for international duty early next week. Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush, who played for Liverpool at Heysel, plan to lay a wreath at the Stade de France before Saturday’s final kicks off. Other floral tributes will be left when the team returns from Paris.
Lorentini was three years old when his father Roberto, a doctor, died at Heysel Stadium while trying to help a supporter with word of mouth. Andrea’s grandfather, Otello, who was also at Heysel and survived, founded the victims’ association and Andrea has been running it since 2015.
Andrea, a sports journalist and football commentator for a local TV channel in Tuscany, adds that current Liverpool FC cannot be held responsible for what happened that night at Heysel. He also understands why Liverpool fans will want to celebrate winning the Champions League final.
“(But) If there was divine sporting justice, it would be better if Real Madrid won the cup on Saturday to avoid this coincidence,” he added. (Writing by Keith Weir; editing by Martyn Herman)
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