Families call for FA apology

Trevor Hicks, the president of Hillsborough Family Support Group, has called on the Football Association to apologise over the disaster.

The Football Association has issued a statement commending the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report but offering no apology over the events at the FA Cup semi-final 23 years ago.

The panel revealed in a 396-page document that a police cover-up had taken place that had intended to shift blame for the events of April 15, 1989, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans, to the victims themselves.

The FA awarded the game to Hillsborough, but it was later revealed the ground did not have a valid safety certificate at the time of the match.

Sheffield Wednesday yesterday apologised and Hicks said the FA should follow suit.

He told BBC Radio Five: "Yes they should – the ground didn't have a safety certificate."

Prime Minister David Cameron also apologised to the families of those affected, stressing to the House of Commons that the findings had shown fans were not at fault.

The FA's statement said: "Having thoroughly reviewed yesterday's report in full, The Football Association would like to commend the Hillsborough Independent Panel for their exhaustive and professional work.

"It is also important that The FA recognises the tireless commitment shown by so many, particularly the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

"We welcome the publication of the report and the subsequent comments of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

"The FA reiterates its deep and ongoing sadness at the dreadful events that unfolded on 15 April 1989.

"The organisation's thoughts at this time remains with the families of all those who lost their lives in such terrible circumstances, as well as everyone connected with the City of Liverpool. For 23 years the families have suffered unbearable pain, and we have profound sympathy for this.

"The FA has co-operated fully with the panel throughout this process and has released all documentation in line with their request.

"The FA and English football has changed immeasurably, and has learnt many lessons in the last 23 years. Through advancements in safety and investment in facilities English football is now a much safer, more welcoming environment for supporters."