Michel Platini has promised Liverpool that UEFA will do what it can to ensure that the club’s second leg of their Champions League quarter-final does not coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The anniversary falls on April 15, which is one of the two dates set aside for the second legs of the quarter-finals, the other being the previous day.
UEFA president Platini has pledged that European’s governing body would “do our utmost” to avoid the scenario.
UEFA issued a statement reacting to reports claiming they had turned down an appeal by Liverpool to avoid playing on the anniversary date.
Platini said: “We are aware of the huge significance of the April 15 date for both Liverpool FC and their fans, and that is why we will do our utmost to make sure that the club does not have to play its UEFA Champions League second leg quarter-final match on that day.
“I have been in regular correspondence with Liverpool FC on this matter for some time now and fully sympathise with the club’s feelings as to the importance of respecting the date of April 15 for those who lost their lives at Hillsborough.
“This being the 20th anniversary of that tragic disaster in 1989 makes it even more relevant and we will take this into account.”
Ninety six people died when Liverpool supporters were crushed at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough on April 15, 1989, as they attended their team’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
A cousin of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was among the dead, and the England midfielder has urged UEFA to respect the wishes of the club.
Gerrard said at the weekend: “We’re still waiting to see whether UEFA will make us play on the day. That would be far from ideal given all the emotion that always surrounds the club on that day.”