Martin Tyler told to apologise after calling Hillsborough a ‘hooligan issue’

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Martin Tyler has been told to apologise after appearing to refer to the Hillsborough disaster as a "hooligan related issue" in an interview.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's flagship programme Today, Sky Sports commentator Tyler was reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the Premier League ahead of the 2022/23 season kicking off tonight (August 5). He said: "It was a great adventure and 3,000 live matches later, not all commentated by me thankfully for the public, it does seem that it worked.

"You've got to remember that football was in a bit of a crisis at that time, we weren't that long after Hillsborough and other hooligan related issues as well. So it was very much a difficult time for the game generally."

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Tyler's choice of words prompted angered responses online. Broadcaster Shelagh Fogarty tweeted: "Martin Tyler @BBCr4today – please correct that."

Fellow journalist Tom Dunn wrote: "Hello @BBCr4today @BBCSounds I take it you’ll be issuing an on air correction of this false claim by @SkySports commentator Martin Tyler that #Hillsborough was a 'hooligan related issue'."

Steve Roherman, Metro Mayor for Liverpool, posted: "Exceptionally crass comments from Martin Tyler on @BBCr4today – a man who should know much better. Even now, people whose careers are built on football still spread these foul smears. I hope there'll be an apology sharpish."

One listener commented: "Martin Tyler needs to get his facts straight. Hillsborough was a poor policing issue." Another demanded: "You need to make a correction to Martin Tyler's reference to 'Hillsborough and other hooligan related' incidents."

One asked: "Martin Tyler calls the Hillsborough disaster "a hooligan-related issue". #r4today No correction from Martha Kearney or Justin Webb. How come? @BBCr4today."

And another added: "Hillsborough 'hooligan related' what an absolutely shameful statement Martin Tyler I think the Hillsborough families deserve a full apology from you and r4today asap."

The Hillsborough disaster saw 97 Liverpool fans lose their lives at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium ahead of the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

BBC's response to Tyler's comment read: “We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough and hooliganism. Martin has since apologised for the comment and clarified that these were separate examples and he did not intend to conflate the two.”

Daily Star Sport has contacted Martin Tyler and Sky Sports for comment.

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