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Jurgen Klopp & Erik ten Hag urge against ‘tragedy chanting’ – “Lose the poison”



Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United counterpart Erik ten Hag have called for an end to the chants of tragedy ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash between the sides at Anfield.

Pleas relating to chanting and online abuse at events including Monaco, Heysel and Hillsborough were released in a joint statement by the clubs on Saturday, with Klopp urging fans to “keep the passion and lose the venom”.

Klopp said: “One of the main reasons why the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is so special is that it’s so intense and nobody would ever want to change it.

“But at the same time, when the rivalry gets too intense, it can go places that aren’t good for anyone and we don’t need to.

“We want noise; we want the occasion to be partisan and we want the atmosphere to be emotional.

“What we don’t want is something that goes beyond that and this is particularly true of the kind of chants that have no place in football. “If we can keep the passion and lose the venom, it will be so much better for everyone.”

Ten Hag said: “The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the biggest in world football. We all love the passion of the fans when our teams meet, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

“It is unacceptable to use the loss of life – associated with any tragedy – to score points, and it is time for it to stop.

“Those responsible tarnish not only the reputation of our clubs, but more importantly theirs, the fans and our major cities.

“On behalf of myself, our players and staff, we ask our fans to focus on supporting the team on Sunday and representing our club in the right way.”

The statement concluded: “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 sometimes tragic histories.”

Last month, the Premier League said it was treating the “tragic song” issue as “an urgent matter” following United’s 2-0 win against Leeds on 12 February. The league joined both teams in condemning the chants heard during the game, with songs about the 1958 Munich air disaster coming from part of the home half, along with some gestures from the plane and some of the away fans singing about the deaths of two Leeds fans in Istanbul in 2000.