Thursday, September 13, 2012

Campaigners Demand Justice

Prime Minister David Cameron's apology and the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel have been welcomed by campaigners who have now called for the parties responsible for the disaster to be made accountable.

The report confirmed South Yorkshire Police had sought to blame fans by instructing officers to change or amend their statements relating to the events of April 15, 1989.

Hillsborough families had suffered a "double injustice", both in the "failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the indefensible wait to get to the truth", and in the efforts to denigrate the deceased and suggest that they were "somehow at fault for their own deaths", Cameron told the House of Commons.

Sheila Coleman, spokesman for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, believes there is still some way to go.

"Words are easy but of course the Hillsborough Justice Campaign welcomes the apologies. But we have had the truth, now it is time for justice," she said.

"Clearly people indulged in criminal activities by changing and altering statements and telling lies.

"If you or I did that we would be prosecuted - people cannot be above the law. Certainly the law-makers and those who are supposed to uphold the law shouldn't be above the law.

"How can you have faith in a police force which ordered its younger officers to alter their statements?

"This was not just one or two, it was the majority and the coroner's court was used by South Yorkshire Police to try to revert the Taylor Report.

"The Attorney General has to quash the inquest verdicts and has to investigate as to what criminal procedures should be brought."

Coleman welcomed the publication of the report, which allowed the full extent of what happened at Hillsborough to be viewed by the wider public.

"Obviously the report is truly shocking but a lot of it was information we already knew because it was information we had had for a number of years," she added.

"But I defy anyone not to be shocked by the fact that lives could have been saved, that blood alcohol levels were taken and those found to be negative then had their names checked against the police national computer for criminal records to see if their reputation could be smeared.

"The fans have been totally vindicated. They played no part in the disaster."

Owls Offer Hillsborough Apology

Sheffield Wednesday have offered an apology to the families who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster as thousands of official documents relating to the tragedy are released.

Wednesday's ground was the venue for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when 96 fans died on April 15, 1989.

And the club has issued a statement welcoming the release of more than 400,000 pages of official documents and hope it will bring closure to the families affected.

The statement read: "Chairman Milan Mandaric and the current board of directors have adopted a policy of complete compliance with the requests of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and on behalf of the club would like to offer our sincere condolences and an apology to all the families who have suffered as a consequence of the tragic events of 15 April, 1989.

"Sheffield Wednesday FC welcomes the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of hard work by all involved during what was, and continues to be, an extremely emotive process.

"Throughout the compilation stage, the club has worked closely with the panel and the other donating organizations to ensure that, in line with the ethos of maximum disclosure, we have been totally transparent.

"Sheffield Wednesday would also like to record its gratitude for the thoroughly dignified manner with which the Hillsborough Family Support Group and its representatives conducted themselves throughout all levels of consultation with the club.

"We can only hope that the publication of the report goes some way to providing the closure sought by all those involved."

Dalglish Calls For The Next Step

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has added his voice to the many welcoming the publication of the truth about the Hillsborough disaster and calling for justices for the families affected.

The Scot, in his first spell as Reds boss, was in charge of the side for the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989 at Sheffield Wednesday's ground when 96 supporters died.

Dalglish was heavily involved in supporting the families in the aftermath of the tragedy and attending numerous funerals - including four in one day.

It ultimately took its toll as he quit Anfield 21 months later with the emotional stress being a significant factor in his decision to walk away from the club.

"Very positive outcome. 23 yrs waiting for the truth next step justice," Dalglish wrote on Twitter.

Liverpool Want Udinese's Danilo

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a January offer for Udinese’s Brazilian centre-back Danilo.

The 28-year-old only arrived at the Stadio Friuli in June 2011 on a five-year contract.

He has quickly become a regular in Francesco Guidolin’s side, but according to British media reports there is interest from Liverpool.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was impressed with Danilo and is working towards a January proposal.

Danilo has an Italian passport and has played for Paulista, Ituano, Atletico Paranaense and Palmeiras.

Reina's Agent Scotches Talk Of Liverpool Exit

The agent of Pepe Reina has denied claims the Spaniard is seeking an exit from Liverpool.

Reina has excelled since joining Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005 but has endured an alarming dip in form.

He has been poor so far this season, following on from an uncertain 2011/12 season, and he has been responsible for a series of blunders.

Goals against Arsenal, Hearts and Manchester City have all been blamed on Reina this season, leading to suggestions that Brendan Rodgers could replace him.

Michel Vorm is said to be a target with Reina facing the exit door at Anfield but his agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, has moved to deny the rumours.

"There is no problem right now," he told Calciomercato in Italy. "Pepe has played many games in the Liverpool shirt and is used to all kinds of rumours.

"It is clear he is not having an easy time because the team has not started the season well and liability is falling on him.

"But this will end when he returns to form. He still has four years to run on his contract and rumours of leaving Liverpool are just that - rumours."

Liverpool Target Set To Stay With Barcelona

Liverpool target Cristian Tello is set to earn a new deal at Barcelona.

Brendan Rodgers tried to land Tello this summer but in a frustrating transfer window for the Liverpool manager, he failed to do so.

Rodgers was expected to go back in for Tello, 21, in the January window but he is expected to be disappointed again.

According to sources in Spain, the forward is set to sign an extension to his contract shortly, which takes him through to 2015.

Liverpool & Juventus Eye Early Capture Of Argentinian Prodigy

Liverpool is set to battle Juventus for the highly rated Argentine 18-year-old Luciano Vietto, having dispatched scouts to monitor the youngster’s swift progress.

According to the Daily Mirror, Brendan Rodgers is keen to bring the Racing Club Avellaneda midfielder to Anfield, after being sufficiently impressed with the youngster who made his debut last year, grabbing 3 goals in 6 appearances, including a stunning hat trick against San Martin earlier this month.

It is also suggested that Juventus are weighing a swoop for the Argentine prodigy, with hopes of securing his services before a host of other clubs across Europe are alerted to his abilities. A price tag of £4 million has been suggested for Vietto’s services, and Juventus’ Champions League status may prove to be a more enticing proposal for the 18-year-old than a move to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers will be faced with the far more pressing matters of securing additional strike cover for his team, with Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini his only established forwards. But Vietto may also be in his consideration as the northern Irishman continues to try and shape his own Liverpool side.

Borini Has Had No Problems Settling

Fabio Borini has had no problems settling at Liverpool after arriving at Anfield this summer, according to his agent.

The Italian former Chelsea player was this summer signed by new boss Brendan Rodgers from Roma in a £10.5million deal and has already made six appearances, scoring one goal.

Borini's move to Liverpool has reunited the forward with Rodgers following their time at Swansea City and that working relationship was a factor behind the transfer.

Agent Marco De Marchi told "Fabio settled immediately.

"He has already been in England and he already knows the Premier League's atmosphere and environment.

"He spent an extraordinary season with Roma but when he got Liverpool's offer there were several assessments with the club and at the end Fabio decided to accept to go.

"The presence of Brendan Rodgers on the bench surely had an influence."

Stevie Sees Red As England Draw

Steven Gerrard was sent-off for two bookable offences as England came from behind to draw 1-1 with Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Wednesday evening.

Having already been booked, the skipper was penalized for a late challenge in the 87th minute and the referee showed him a second yellow.

It was the first sending-off of his international career and Liverpool's No.8 will now miss the Wembley World Cup date with San Marino on Friday, October 12.

Glen Johnson played the full 90 minutes and gave an impressive display down the right flank, coming close to scoring with a good effort.

Raheem Sterling was an unused substitute and it took an 86th minute Frank Lampard penalty to earn Roy Hodgson's side a share of the spoils.

Luis Suarez returned from suspension as Uruguay came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Ecuador.

Liverpool's No.7 played the full 90 minutes and struck the bar with a fine effort in the first half. Edison Cavani netted a 66th minute equalizer and Sebastian Coates was an unused substitute.

Elsewhere there was disappointment for Wales and Joe Allen who played 72 minutes during the 6-1 thrashing by Serbia.

There were better fortunes for Martin Skrtel who played the full 90 minutes as Slovakia beat Liechtenstein 2-0.

Our new No.4 Nuri Sahin came on as an 82nd minute replacement as Turkey beat Estonia 3-0 while Fabio Borini was an unused substitute as Italy beat Malta 2-0.

Pepe Reina also remained on the bench as an 86th minute winner from Roberto Soldado gave Spain a 1-0 win in Georgia.

Pepe's understudy Brad Jones was an unused substitute as Australia suffered a shock 2-1 loss away in Jordan.