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Why Liverpool Fans Booed ’God Save The King’ Anthem on Coronation Day

Sunday 7 May 2023
Why Liverpool Fans Booed ’God Save The King’ Anthem on Coronation Day

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UK Police Arrest Head of Anti-Monarchy Movement at Coronation Protest

Hours after the controversy-marred coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, Liverpool football fans during a Premier League game at Anfield made their displeasure known.

Seething with fury, the ‘Red Army’ of Liverpool football fans booed the British national anthem before the game against Brentford, which understandably did not come as a surprise to many.

Booing ‘God Save the Queen’, which has now become ‘God Save the King’, is a regular feature at Wembley, known as the national stadium of England and the home of English football.

British football clubs had been advised to play the royal anthem before the kick-off of every Premier League game over the weekend, including the Liverpool Football Club, to mark the coronation.

In May last year, Duke of Cambridge Prince William was resoundingly booed by tens of thousands of Liverpool football fans at Wembley during the finals of the FA Cup while he was shaking hands with players of Liverpool and Chelsea before the kick-off.

On Saturday, angry fans did it again, more vociferously this time, to send a strong message across – the British monarchy has fewer takers today and monarchists have lost their public support.

Viral footage showed players from each side standing near the center circle before the kickoff while the national anthem played in the background, accompanied by resounding boos and jeers.

David Maddock, a football reporter for Daily Mirror, in a tweet, said the booing that reverberated across the ground was so loud that he did not even know the anthem was playing.

Liverpool club, according to reports, agreed to play ‘God Save the King’ ahead of Saturday’s match but warned about “strong views” held by fans on the issue, referring to the coronation.

“Before kick-off and in recognition of the Premier League’s request to mark the coronation, players and officials will congregate around the center circle when the national anthem will be played,” the club said in a statement Friday.

“It is, of course, a personal choice how those at Anfield on Saturday mark this occasion and we know some supporters have strong views on it.”

The question is: why do Liverpool fans boo the British national anthem? The answer lies in history.

The booing of the national anthem in Liverpool is seen as a form of anti-establishment protest since the early 1980s, starting from the tenure of then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Liverpool is believed to have paid a heavy price for the deindustrialization of the British economy in the 1970s and 1980s, which also saw several days of deadly Toxteth riots in the city in July 1981.

However, the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 was what sealed the already fractured relationship between Liverpool and the British establishment, dealing a death blow to it.

According to Liverpool football club’s official website, at least 97 children, women and men – all football fans – lost their lives as a result of the disaster during the FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium on April 15, 1989.

“Following a tireless campaign led by bereaved families and survivors, in 2012 the High Court quashed the original accidental death verdicts and ordered new inquests, which would go on to become the longest-running in British legal history,” reads the report posted on the website.

Last month, bereaved family members and survivors marked the 34th anniversary of the greatest sporting disaster and spoke of how the country’s legal system had failed them.

According to an inquest carried out between 2014 and 2016, people were killed in the tragic incident due to South Yorkshire police commander David Duckenfield’s gross negligence. Liverpool fans had no role to play in it.

However, in December 2019, Duckenfield was scandalously acquitted on charges of gross negligence manslaughter, while the victims were blamed for the tragedy.

Tony Guess, a resident of Liverpool, in a Twitter post on Sunday, slammed the new British king.

“Where was he when the Torys said about managed decline about Liverpool. Where was he when 97 Liverpool fans died and got blamed for their deaths. Where was he when children and families are starving and going cold because of the cost of living,” he wrote.

“Respect to every Liverpool fan that booed the anthem. We're not in the 17th century anymore. We are free and don't belong to anyone. Cheers to Liverpool fans,” wrote another Twitter user, Lakshmi Naarayanan.

On the sidelines of the coronation event in London on Saturday, several anti-monarchy activists were arrested, including a leader of a Republican campaign group, as they chanted ‘Not My King’.

“This morning, [chief executive] Graham Smith and five members of our team were arrested. Hundreds of placards were seized,” the group wrote on Twitter. “Is this democracy?”

In a statement on Sunday, after his release, Smith issued a statement saying British police officers “should hang their heads in shame” for showing “no judgment, no common sense and no basic decency”.

“This was a heavy-handed action which had the appearance of a pre-determined arrest that would have occurred regardless of the evidence or our actions,” he wrote.

“The right to protest peacefully in the UK no longer exists. Instead, we have a freedom to protest that is contingent on political decisions made by ministers and senior police officers.”

Anti-monarchy protests were also held in Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Source: Press TV


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Iran marks National Defense Week

Iran marks National Defense Week