LONDON — Authorities will review complaints made by Newcastle fans that there was overcrowding at Hillsborough during the FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday this past weekend.
Hillsborough was the scene of Britain’s worst sports disaster when a crush in the lower tier at the Leppings Lane End of the stadium at a 1989 FA Cup semifinal match led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool supporters.
A number of Newcastle fans who were in the away end at Saturday’s cup game have alleged there were congestion issues around the exit to the tunnel at the same end of the stadium ahead of the match, which Sheffield Wednesday won 2-1. Footage on social media appeared to back up those claims.
The Sports Grounds Safety Authority, which is the British government’s advisor on safety at sports venues, announced Tuesday it will review the incident along with Sheffield Wednesday and local city officials in an attempt to ensure secure surroundings for fans.
“We are concerned by reports of overcrowding and crushing at the FA Cup tie between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United at Hillsborough Stadium on Saturday evening,” the SGSA said.
“The SGSA is now working with the club, Sheffield City Council and the Safety Advisory Group to review the event, learn any lessons and ensure a safe environment for football fans.”
The Football Association will speak to officials from both clubs about the incident.