Sports Grounds Safety Authority to look into Newcastle fans' reports of overcrowding at Hillsborough

Some Newcastle fans say there was crushing and overcrowding during the Magpies 2-1 defeat away at Sheffield Wednesday. Credit: @mhardysport/The Times

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority have said they are concerned about reports of overcrowding and crushing at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield at the weekend.

Images of overcrowding in the away end of the stadium were shared on social media after 4,500 NUFC fans travelled to Sheffield for the FA Cup 2-1 defeat on Saturday 7 January.

For some - it brought back memories of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, which claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool fans.

Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool, West Derby, and survivor of the Hillsborough disaster described the images as chilling.

A spokesperson for the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) said: “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 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.”

Sheffield Wednesday have been approached for comment.

Earlier this week (Monday 9 January), a spokesperson from South Yorkshire Police said: "While no official reports were made to SYP, we have noted the concerns raised and will be seeking a debrief with the club and Safety Advisory Group to discuss this matter further."

The FA said: "As guidance, we are aware of the matter in question, and we will be looking into it. This will focus on liaising closely with the clubs, police and appropriate safety authorities."

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