Man charged over '97' football shirt at FA Cup final

  • Published
Hundreds of fans walk down Wembley WayImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
The spectator allegedly wore the offensive shirt at Saturday's FA Cup final

A man has been charged over a football shirt which appeared to refer to the 97 fans who died as a result of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

James White, 33, from Warwickshire, was charged with displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was bailed to appear at Willesden Magistrates' Court in London on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police said 22 other people were arrested at the Wembley FA Cup final on Saturday.

The force said they were detained during the match between Manchester City and Manchester United for offences including assault, affray, possession of drugs and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Officers are also investigating after an item was thrown on to the pitch after the United goal in their 2-1 defeat by City.

Police said no-one had been arrested yet over the incident.

Hillsborough disaster

Image source, Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption,
A crush developed in the stands where Liverpool fans were watching an FA Cup semi-final
  • Ninety-seven fans died as a result of a crush at a game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.
  • In 2016, an inquest jury found that Liverpool fans were not to blame for what happened and those who died were unlawfully killed.
  • Jurors blamed police failures, stadium design defects and a delayed response by the ambulance service.
  • Police forces apologised earlier this year for "profound failings", saying they had "got it badly wrong".
  • In 2021, the South Yorkshire and West Midlands police forces agreed to pay damages to more than 600 people over a cover-up which followed the disaster.

During Saturday's match, a photo of the back of a man wearing the number 97 and the words "not enough" on a Manchester United top was widely shared on social media.

On Sunday, the English FA issued a statement saying it would "not tolerate abuse relating to Hillsborough or any football tragedy".

It has previously said it was concerned about "the rise of abhorrent chants" over the disaster.

Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne, who was at Hillsborough in 1989, described any inappropriate reference to the disaster as "sick".

The Met urged people not to share information online which could prejudice the proceedings against Mr White.

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