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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool make Hillsborough request to UEFA

Liverpool have asked UEFA to bring forward the date of their potential Champions League quarter-final second leg to avoid a clash with the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Should Rafael Benitez's side defeat Real Madrid over two legs in their last-16 tie, they would currently be scheduled to face their next opponents for the second time on April 15.

That is exactly two decades since 96 Reds fans lost their lives at Sheffield Wednesday's ground before and during the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Liverpool have, therefore, requested UEFA allow them to play the match on the 14th if they progress, which would mean players and staff could attend a memorial service at Anfield the next day.

''We wrote to UEFA last year, pointing out the significance of April 15 if we do get to the quarter-final, especially as it is the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster,'' a Liverpool spokesman said.

''We have asked not to play on that date and that April 14 should be considered instead.

''UEFA has replied acknowledging the significance of the date and confirming they will do their best to support our request if we progress.''

It has also been announced that the bells of both the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals in the city will chime 96 times in unison on April 15, with a two-minute silence being observed from 3.06pm, the time at which the game was called off as the full extent of the tragedy started to become clear.

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