Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bernstein to Say Sorry for FA's Role in Hillsborough Disaster

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bernstein to Say Sorry for FA's Role in Hillsborough Disaster

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley

[bar] HE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION were today set to make a full apology for their role in the Hillsborough disaster after coming under pressure from the families of the 96 victims.

Chairman David Bernstein was expected to address the media on behalf of the FA at Wembley this afternoon following criticism of their original statement released earlier in the day.

Standard Sport understands Bernstein had planned to speak on the subject but the organisation find themselves under fire after it was revealed that they spent [pounds sterling]315,000 on lawyers dealing with the aftermath of Hillsborough from April to August 1989 alone. A day after the tragedy, those lawyers advised the FA to be "careful" of donations to victims because it might be interpreted as taking responsibility.

Speaking on behalf of the Family Support Group, Trevor Hicks, who lost two daughters, Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, in the crush at the Liverpool versus Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final 23 years ago, claimed the FA should admit their liability.

Before urging the Attorney General to instigate a fresh inquest, he said: "They should apologise because the ground didn't have a safety certificate.

"It is important to all the families that a new verdict [from accidental to manslaughter] is put in place and we have proper, fair and honest inquests now.

"It will be another emotional ordeal for us, but again it's part of the due process that needs to be gone through." The FA's earlier statement praised the Hillsborough Independent Panel for their commitment to uncovering the truth after a police cover-up took place to disguise their liability for the events of April 15, 1989.

"Having thoroughly reviewed yesterday's report in full, the Football Association would like to commend the Hillsborough Independent Panel for their exhaustive and professional work," said the statement. …

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