FA pledges support
Adrian Bevington told The FF Show that any further inquiry into Hillsborough will have the FA's full backing.
Last Updated: 14/09/12 10:42am
The Football Association has pledged its full support to any further inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster, says FA Director of Communications Adrian Bevington.
Earlier this week, FA Chairman chairman David Bernstein made 'a full and unreserved apology' following the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
He also expressed "sincere condolences to all of the families of those who lost their lives and to everyone connected to the City of Liverpool and Liverpool Football Club ".
Bevington told The Footballers' Football Show his reaction to the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report into at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest - a disaster that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans - which found that the police tried to shift blame for events onto the victims.
"There were a lot of shocking revelations," said Bevington. "And throughout it all an incredible feeling of deep sadness - a whole manner of different emotions [including] regret.
"Obviously the organisation that I'm employed by is the Football Association; [Hillsborough] was 23 years ago and the personnel may have changed, but it's still the Football Association and we chose the venue where these dreadful events took place.
"The families of the 96 that lost their lives and the city of Liverpool and Liverpool Football Club who all came together as one great community, have had to suffer and feel great pain and indignity at the way some of the accusations have been levelled against them over those two decades and more.
"We obviously discussed it; we wanted to digest the information fully and David Bernstein, our chairman, was very clear that he wanted to personally be seen on behalf of the organisation to apologise to the whole city of Liverpool, particularly the families, while praising the extensive work of the independent panel."
He added: "I think it's really important that we praise those people who worked tirelessly on the panel. But the commitment shown by the families and the family support groups - the people who sat in front of the media yesterday (Wednesday), they've kept that campaign going for justice.
"It's incredibly important that the Football Association has apologised and it is an unreserved, full apology from David Bernstein.
"Obviously the Government has apologised, the other agencies involved have apologised and we have made it clear that we, as an organisation, have given full disclosure to any documentation and evidence that we have had within the organisation that relate back to the events of 1989 and should any further inquiry take place we will be, of course, be ready to support any such inquiry.
"David feels as the leader of the organisation that there is a responsibility that we should come out and say to the family and the support groups 'we apologise for our part in this horrific tragedy that occurred which has had a dreadful impact on people's lives'.
"As I say, the FA Cup is our competition and we chose a ground that in the end clearly was the scene for one of the worst atrocities in football of all time. Clearly the fact that it didn't have a safety certificate means that the suitability for it to host such a game has got to be questioned.
"What we are trying to do is apologise unreservedly in the most simplistic format. We regret wholeheartedly what happened and any part that we played in it and we're sorry for that."