Hillsborough papers: England almost withdrawn from 1990 World Cup

The Government considered pulling the England football team out of the 1990 World Cup in the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy, official papers have revealed.

World Cup 1990 Hillsborough
West Germany Manager Franz Beckenbauer consoles England Manager Bobby Robson. Credit: Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport

Former deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey Howe said the tournament, which was held in Italy, would provide a "natural focus for hooligan activity" and the withdrawal of England was discussed in a government committee.

In a letter to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on 27 September, 1989, Mr Howe said the idea was dropped because it was feared "determined hooligans" would head to Italy anyway.

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Boris 'sorry' for Hillsborough article

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has apologised for an editorial article in The Spectator magazine when he was editor in 2004 about Liverpool fans being partly to blame for the Hillsborough disaster: