Luton have threatened to ban supporters found to have taken part in “tragedy chanting” during Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool.
The Football Association on Monday asked Luton and police for their observations after taunts indirectly referencing the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were heard during the 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road.
Luton said they were “saddened” by the chanting that referenced the 97 Liverpool fans who died as a result of crushing on the Leppings Lane terraces at Hillsborough during an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
“The club condemns any kind of chanting that knowingly seeks to divide, and our safety and security team launched an internal investigation at the earliest opportunity,” the Luton statement read.
Luton are reviewing CCTV evidence to identify individuals, who could face stadium bans and criminal prosecutions.
Part of Luton’s statement suggesting fans may have sung the chants without knowing the full meaning of what they were singing is understood to have not been received well on Merseyside.
“What has quickly become evident is that a number of people may have taken part without knowledge that the words used were in relation to the Hillsborough and Heysel tragedies, and we see the route to persuading supporters not to repeat these chants in future is through communication and education,” Luton’s statement added.
“On behalf of all at Luton Town, we would like to wholeheartedly apologise to anyone offended by the chants heard during yesterday’s match, and will continue to work with supporter groups to educate fans on chants that are classed as tragedy abuse by football authorities, the police and CPS.”
After the Luton match, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he did not hear the chanting but added: “Shame on everyone who said it.”
The Premier League issued a statement on Monday saying they “condemn the tragedy-related chanting heard at yesterday’s match between Luton Town and Liverpool.
“We continue to treat this as an unacceptable issue and are committed to addressing it as a priority.
“Those found guilty of tragedy-related abuse face an automatic club ban and will be referred to the police.”