Government regulator investigating Hillsborough crushing claims

Government stadium regulator joins the FA in investigating claims of crushing and overcrowding in Newcastle’s FA Cup loss at Sheffield Wednesday after Toon fans described worrying scenes in the Leppings Lane stand at Hillsborough

  • The Sports Grounds Safety Authority advises Government on stadium safety
  • Along with the FA, the SGSA is investigating issues which arose at Hillsborough
  • Newcastle fans have raised concerns through testimony about a recent visit 
  • A total of 4,500 packed into the Leppings Lane end for Saturday’s FA Cup tie 
  • Many reported severe overcrowding and crushing before and during the game 

The Government’s sports stadium regulator is now investigating reports of overcrowding and crushing during Sheffield Wednesday’s FA Cup tie with Newcastle at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Sportsmail carried several accounts on Tuesday from away supporters detailing the scenes in the Leppings Lane end concourse and seating area before and during the game.

Fans described being caught in a crush in the narrow concourse prior to kick-off, with children left in tears and parents relying on fellow supporters to help them to safety. Wednesday have not commented on the concerns and have not replied to our request for guidance.

A stadium regulator that advises government is looking into worrying safety claims from Newcastle fans following their recent FA Cup to Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground

However, the FA are looking into the claims and they have now been joined by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, who advise the Government on matters of spectator safety within stadiums.

A statement read: ‘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.’

Newcastle fans have warned Sheffield Wednesday they risk supporters suffering serious injury

More supporters have since come forward with their experiences. One, who was with his two daughters, told Sky Sports: ‘When we were trying to get to the entrance (to the stands) we started getting squished. 

‘I had my arms around my 10 and 11-year-old girls. I was trying to feather us through. The girls started panicking and were shouting, “Dad, dad, stop pushing”. 

‘I had to tell them, I was being pushed from behind. Luckily, a few Newcastle fans spotted the girls, shouted at everyone and put their arms wide to create a funnel and pushed the girls through. So we managed to get through this massive crush of a crowd.’

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