Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 10:12 UK

Club probes Hillsborough 'insult'


Charles Itandje at Hillsborough memorial service

A Liverpool footballer has been suspended after claims he behaved inappropriately during the Hillsborough memorial service.

Reserve goalkeeper Charles Itandje is seen smiling and nudging a team-mate in footage of the service held to remember the 96 fans killed in the 1989 tragedy.

About 30,000 supporters, players past and present and families of survivors attended the service at Anfield.

Itandje has been suspended for 14 days while the club probes the allegations.

The footage of the French goalkeeper, who was sitting in the Kop with fellow players, behind families of the victims, is being circulated on the internet.

Damian Plessis, a Liverpool reserve midfielder who is also from France, is shown not to react as he is nudged by Itandje.

Itandje was told by Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez not to attend training on Friday.

A Liverpool spokesman confirmed: "Charles Itandje has now been officially suspended for 14 days by the club while we investigate his conduct during the Hillsborough Memorial Service."

Les Lawson, secretary of the Merseyside branch of the official Liverpool Supporters' Club, said: "I think he should be sacked.

I'm sure the club will investigate it properly
Margaret Aspinall, Hillsborough Families Support Group

"There is no excuse for not showing respect to the 96 supporters.

"It was a sombre occasion and for him to do what he was doing was a total and utter disgrace.

"It's good that Liverpool Football Club have acted quickly and suspended him but I don't think he should ever set foot in the club again."

The 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during Liverpool's FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.

Many fans have written comments branding Itandje disrespectful, immature and insensitive or have called for him to be sacked or sold.

One comment on the popular site said: "Hillsborough is a very meaningful and important event for Liverpool, the families of the victims, the club, the team and the people of Liverpool.

"If Itandje really did that, then he has no respect."

Itandje signed for Liverpool in August 2007 and made his first team debut the following month, but has not played for the first team this season.

He was placed on the club's transfer list last summer.

Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James in the stadium disaster and is vice chair of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: "I'm sure the club will investigate it properly."

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific