Liverpool get time off to mark Hillsborough

LONDON - Liverpool's request not to play the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster looks like being granted, UEFA president Michel Platini said yesterday.

LONDON - Liverpool's request not to play the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster looks like being granted, UEFA president Michel Platini said yesterday.

The second legs are scheduled for April 14-15.

Uefa denied media reports that it had declined Liverpool's request not to play on April 15.

"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 quarterfinal match on that day," Platini said in a statement.

"I 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," Platini said.

"This being the 20th anniversary of that tragic disaster in 1989 makes it even more relevant and we will take this into account."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, whose cousin was among the 96 people who died in the crush before the club's FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest in 1989, said on Sunday he hoped UEFA would show "common sense" over the matter.

The draw for the Champions League quarterfinals will be made on Friday. - Reuters

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