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February 10, 2017updated 13 Feb 2017 10:20am

Liverpool FC bans Sun reporters as title says it ‘deeply regrets’ coverage of Hillsborough tragedy

By Freddy Mayhew

Liverpool Football Club has banned Sun journalists from attending matches and press conferences.

The newspaper was already barred from getting exclusive interviews with Liverpool FC managers or players, but this latest move has seen relations grow yet colder between the club and tabloid title.

The dispute stems from the Sun’s front page coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, where 96 people were killed in a stadium crush, in which it wrongly accused Liverpool fans of disgraceful acts.

The fresh ban has been imposed following “high-level discussions” between Liverpool FC and campaign group Total Eclipse of the S*n, according to the Liverpool Echo.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Further to conversations with LFC directors we are happy to inform you that S*n journalists are no longer enjoy access to all club premises.”

A Sun spokesperson told Press Gazette the title “deeply regrets its reporting of the tragic events at Hillsborough and understands the damage caused by those reports is still felt by many in the city”.

The title has previously published apologies over its coverage, including on the front page in 2012, but it was criticised last year after failing to put the results of an inquest into the disaster on the front page.

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The inquest ruled that the people who died in a crush after the football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, were “unlawfully killed”. It came after 27 years of campaigning for justice by their families.

News UK titles the Sun and Times were among the only newspapers not to splash on the outcome of the inquest.

A Sun spokesperson said: “The Sun and Liverpool FC have had a solid working relationship for the 28 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. Banning journalists from a club is bad for fans and bad for football. The Sun can reassure readers this won’t affect our full football coverage.”

They added: “A new generation of journalists on the paper congratulate the families on the hard fought victory they have achieved through the inquest.

“It is to their credit that the truth has emerged and, whilst we can’t undo the damage done, we would like to further a dialogue with the city and to show that the paper has respect for the people of Liverpool.”


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