Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler apologises after appearing to link Hillsborough and hooliganism

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Tyler spoke with BBC Radio 4's Today programme about commentating on his first Premier League fixture 30 years ago, and described the state of football at the time.

He said: "It was a great adventure and 3,000 live matches later, not all commentated by me - thankfully for the public- it does seem like it worked. "You've got to remember that football was in a bit of a crisis at that time. "We weren't that long after Hillsborough and other hooligan-related issues as well so it was very much a difficult time for the game generally and it was seen as a bit of privatisation… taking it away from the public." His comments sparked backlash on social media, which ultimately led to a statement from the 76-year-old who explained his words. He said: "This morning, while discussing various crises facing football 30 years ago, I referred to some examples including the Hillsborough disaster and also controversy over hooliganism at matches. "These are two separate issues. There is no connection at all between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism. "I know that, and I was not implying that there was. I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding." The BBC said in a statement: "We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough and hooliganism. "Martin has since apologised for the comment and clarified that these were separate examples and he did not intend to conflate the two." The disaster took place during the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in Sheffield on April 15, 1989 and caused the death of 97 Liverpool fans. An inquest jury ruled in 2016 that the victims were unlawfully killed due to gross negligence manslaughter by the South Yorkshire police officer in command on the day, David Duckenfield.

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