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Sep 17, 2012

EPL to let clubs settle chants issue

The Premier League are reportedly unlikely to take action following brief anti-Liverpool chanting during Manchester United's Barclays Premier League 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday, the Press Association reported Monday.

Press Association Sport understands the Premier League deem the chants to be unacceptable but believe it is a matter for the clubs themselves to deal with.

United's biggest win of the season was marred by a short burst of anti-Liverpool chanting from a small minority of home fans following on from last week's damning report on the handling of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, in which 96 people died.

One clearly audible chant at Saturday's game at Old Trafford was "Always the victims, never your fault", believed to be in reference to the report findings.

The Football Association declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Press Association Sport and the tension between the two rival clubs is sure to be heightened when United travel to Anfield next Sunday.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill is expected to hold talks with Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre in an attempt to calm tensions between fans before the clubs meet.

It is understood preliminary talks between the two took place following the publication of the Hillsborough report last Wednesday.

The atmosphere at past games has always been volatile but after the race row which engulfed Reds striker Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra in the corresponding fixture last October, tensions between fans have gone up a notch.

Suarez, banned for eight matches by the Football Association after being found guilty of using racially abusive language, did not shake the Frenchman's hand when they met at Old Trafford in February and that eventually resulted in apologies from Liverpool and the player.

The Uruguay international is, the Press Association Sport is reporting, expected to shake hands with Evra if they line up opposite each other at Anfield, where the focus will be on matters of far greater significance.

There is a history of sour relations between the Manchester United and Liverpool. A minority of United fans have directed chants to Liverpool fans regarding Hillsborough and a Liverpool minority have chanted in reference to the Munich air disaster of 1958 in which 23 people died.

On Saturday, a United spokesperson said the club "deplore" such songs and in a statement, United said: "The manager has made the club's position very clear on this matter. It is now up to the fans to respect that."

Manchester United's Supporters' Trust (MUST) echoed Ferguson's statements.

"We enjoy a fierce rivalry but these issues transcend that rivalry, MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo said. "We agree 100 percent with the statement made by Sir Alex Ferguson -- this is the time for supporters of these two great clubs to represent their clubs with the integrity and honour that our glorious history demands.

"Following this week's developments and release of revelatory information on the Hillsborough tragedy, MUST wishes to make it absolutely clear that just as we condemn chants mocking the Munich air disaster we also condemn any chants relating to Hillsborough or indeed any other human tragedy."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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