Liverpool supporters have been awarded by FIFA for their touching tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
The Reds’ faithful will share the FIFA Fan Award, which was presented at the inaugural Best FIFA Football awards in Zurich on Monday night, with Borussia Dortmund supporters.
Before kickoff in last season’s Europa League quarter-final second leg at Anfield, both sets of fans showed solidarity by singing Liverpool’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
The rendition was delivered the night before the 27th anniversary of the tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at Hillsborough Stadium ahead of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Liverpool and Dortmund beat Iceland’s fans, who created the ‘thunderclap’ celebration at Euro 2016, and supporters of Dutch club ADO Den Haag.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 9, 2017
Manager Jurgen Klopp, who coached Dortmund for seven years, gave his thoughts on the award to Liverpool’s official website:
“Of course, this award honours both sets of supporters and the respect shown by our friends from Dortmund was absolutely typical of the world-class values that club upholds. To honour the 96 victims, their families and the survivors of Hillsborough was very poignant.
“I know we won the match and the tie, but I think everyone inside Anfield that night and watching at home – whether they were wearing red or yellow and black – knows that football can be very proud of how they represented their club.”
The timing of the Hillsborough tribute was even more special as just 10 days later, it was found by an inquest that the victims were ‘unlawfully killed’.
Fans were also exonerated of any blame for the disaster.