Daily Express apologises and suspends journalist over Anfield violence article

The Daily Express has apologised for an article which alleged Liverpool fans should share the blame for the violence that occurred before the club's Champions League game with Roma.

The article, titled 'Liverpool must take serious action after Roma violence or risk further trouble' appeared on the Daily Express website on Thursday.

The paper has since removed it for being 'ill-informed and wrong'.

In an apology to Liverpool fans and the club, the Express wrote on its website:

"Yesterday a comment piece by a freelance journalist entitled 'Liverpool must take serious action after Roma violence or risk further trouble' was published on this website.

"This article was ill-informed and wrong. It did not, in any way, reflect the views of the Express. It should never have been written and was very quickly removed.

We unconditionally apologise, both for the article itself and any offence, understandably, caused.

"The journalist who wrote the piece was immediately suspended.

"Express.co.uk is conducting an inquiry into how the article came to be published on our website."

The violence outside Anfield resulted in 53-year-old Irish man Sean Cox being attacked. It left the father-of-three in a critical condition.

Sean Cox

Two Italian men were remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with an incident that left Mr Cox fighting for his life.

Filippo Lombardi, 20, and Daniele Sciusco, 29, both appeared at South Sefton Magistrates' Court on Thursday, charged with violent disorder after the Champion's League semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday.

Lombardi was also charged with wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Cox.

No pleas were indicated and the case was sent to Liverpool Crown Court, where both men will appear on May 24.

In the article which was published by the Daily Express, Colin Mafham wrote that trouble seemed to follow Liverpool around.

As reported by The Guardian, the opinion piece on Express.co.uk read:

"You would have thought the deaths of 39 Italians at the European Cup final Liverpool lost to Juventus in 1985, plus the five-year ban on English clubs that consequently came after that, would have had a sobering effect.

"You would have thought the horrors at Hillsborough and 96 more deaths that followed only four years later would have made everyone more aware of their responsibilities to each other.

"Those two tragedies, in which the central figures were sadly mostly from Liverpool, are arguably football’s most painful Achilles and hopefully will never happen again.

"So why do I fear that the latest generation of that club’s supporters could well add another chapter to England’s footballing book of condolences?"

Liverpool's mayor, Joe Anderson since took to Twitter last night to say the editor of the Daily Express called him to apologise for the article.

Additional reporting by PA

READ MORE: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wears tricolour pin in support of injured fan Sean Cox and his family

More in this Section

Runaway leaders Juventus can still get better, warns Emre Can

‘Nothing concrete’ in place for Gatland after he leaves Wales post

Kevin-Prince Boateng completes surprise Barcelona loan switch

Gonzalo Higuain move to Chelsea ‘in the air’ – AC Milan assistant Luigi Riccio


Making Cents: Car insurance travelling in the right direction

Boyzone Farewell Tour: Gettin' the band back on the road

Six things we learned at Music Minds event

Heart and Home festival: The very best of bluegrass

More From The Irish Examiner