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Manchester United Escape Sanction for Hillsborough Chants

Facing the possibility of sanction for the behaviour of both players and fans, UEFA today ruled that they will not take action against Manchester United over Hillsborough chants or Marouane Fellaini's elbow.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Following last Thursday’s Europa League tie between Liverpool and Manchester United, UEFA were expected to investigate the behaviour of United’s fans as well as a late elbow thrown by midfielder Marouane Fellaini that seemed worth of a red card. In the end, United will be sanctioned for neither.

After looking at events in the stands at the match, UEFA have decided that there weren’t grounds to sanction Manchester United for the chants about Hillsborough sung by the club’s supporters. That the club came out immediately following the match with a statement condemning the chants may have helped their case.

"It has always been the position of Manchester United that chants of this nature, which refer to historical tragedies, have no place in the game and don’t reflect the club’s values," read a statement from United following the match. "We’re discussing with fans to seek support in preventing this behaviour in the future."

Meanwhile, Fellaini has also escaped unpunished following his misdeeds on Thursday. Video showed a late elbow being thrown at Liverpool’s Emre Can, felling the German midfielder. Had the referee seen it, most assumed it would have resulted in a sending off. However, for UEFA to act, the referee had to say as much.

Following every match, the referee writes up a match report while watching a replay, and if he sees something that he missed during the match—or if he believes he was too harsh in his judgement of an action he did see—that goes in the report, allowing UEFA to act on it. Fellaini’s elbow didn’t make the report.

"We [can] inform you that the reports from the match officials did not include any mention of the alleged incident," said a UEFA spokesman. "Therefore no disciplinary proceedings have been opened for this."

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