Manchester City will not face sanctions for supporters chanting “Murderers” during Sunday’s Premier League 1-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, sources have told ESPN, with the Football Association (FA) powerless to take action unless the chants are deemed to be discriminatory.
Sources have told ESPN that allegations of Liverpool fans throwing coins at City boss Pep Guardiola and of away team bus being attacked by objects after the game are also likely to be outside of FA jurisdiction.
However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could still be charged by the FA and receive a touchline ban after he was sent off during the second half by referee Anthony Taylor.
The FA have condemned the chanting by the City supporters of “murderers” and “Always the victims, it’s never your fault” — both chants relate to the deaths of 97 Liverpool supporters at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster — but sources have told ESPN that no action will be taken against City for failing to control their supporters unless it can be proved that the chants were discriminatory, such as if they were racially motivated or an anti-gay.
Liverpool issued a statement after the game on Sunday to highlight the chanting and offensive, tragedy-related graffiti in the away section, adding they would work closely with City to “ensure that these chants are eradicated from football altogether.”
City are yet to issue a statement in response to Liverpool, although City sources have told ESPN that the chants were an unfortunate consequence of comments made by Klopp in his prematch news conference when he said rival clubs could not compete with the wealth of Gulf-owned clubs such as City, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United.
City declined to address the matter on the record when contacted by ESPN.
ESPN has also been told that City’s claims of coin-throwing at Guardiola and of their team bus being attacked by objects after the game are likely to be outside of FA jurisdiction.
If Guardiola was attacked by individuals throwing coins, it will be a matter for Liverpool and Merseyside Police to address. The FA can only act if it is judged to have been a large section of the stand throwing missiles at the City boss.
Claims of the bus being attacked are also due to be dealt with by the police rather than the FA unless the incident happened within the stadium perimeter.
ESPN witnessed City’s two buses emerging from Anfield without incident after the game, although City sources have said that the missiles were thrown away from the stadium, further down Anfield Road.