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Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Reds make Hillsborough match plea

Scarf tributes on the Shankley Gates
Tributes left at Anfield on the 19th anniversary in 2008

Liverpool have asked Uefa to alter a potential Champions League quarter-final date to avoid the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Should Rafael Benitez's side overcome Real Madrid to make the last eight, they could be drawn to play the second leg of the next round on 15 April.

The date will mark 20 years since 96 fans died on overcrowded terraces.

"We have asked not to play on that date and that 14 April be considered instead," the club said.

An annual service at Anfield on the day of the disaster is usually attended by Liverpool players and officials, as well as relatives of the supporters who died.

The occasion will be lent extra significance should Juventus defeat Chelsea and be drawn against the Merseysiders in the quarter-finals.

When Liverpool played the Italian side in the European Cup final in 1985, 39 spectators were killed after a wall collapsed during rioting at the Heysel stadium in Brussels.

When the two sides next met, 20 years on from that disaster, in the Champions League in 2005, the matches in Turin and Liverpool passed off peacefully amid public demonstrations of remembrance.

Liverpool have been scheduled to play on the anniversary of Hillsborough before, most recently in 2006, when the Premier League agreed to their game against Blackburn being moved to 16 April.

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see also
Hillsborough families top honours
28 Jan 09 |  Merseyside
Reds' game at Blackburn put back
17 Mar 06 |  Liverpool
Champions League photos
05 Apr 05 |  Photo Galleries
Service marks Hillsborough deaths
15 Apr 05 |  Merseyside


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