Justice for the 96? Why has the FA not been brought to book?
Feature by Daily Mirror
Updated Saturday, 20th October 2012
It has taken a long, long time for a lot of organisations to face up to what they did in 1989, says Kenny Dalglish in his latest column, and now it's the Football Association's turn
Even though they were not in power at the time, our current government has picked up the baton and handled the issue superbly.
What I want to know now is when is the FA going to face up to its responsibilities, too?
I’m not talking about the apology it made last month - an apology that was a long time coming and which took them two attempts to produce properly.
I’m talking about issues like why we have never had a full explanation of why the FA insisted the game should be played at Hillsborough.
They knew there had been problems there in the past, but still they insisted on their semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest being staged there that year.
They knew that Old Trafford was available, but they would not consent to the game being played there instead.
And they knew that Hillsborough did not have a safety certificate and yet they were still adamant the game had to be played at the stadium.
If they had not insisted that the game was played there, who knows what would have happened?
Well, the fans that died would still be alive for one thing.
That’s why I find it strange that there has not been any talk of the FA being liable to pay some form of financial penalty to the families of the dead.
And that’s why I find it strange that there has been no talk of the FA being punished for its actions.
I am not talking about punishing the people in power at the moment.
But surely, as the game’s governing body, they have to take responsibility for the way their organisation acted in the past.
It has taken a long, long time for a lot of organisations to face up to what they did in 1989 and now it’s the FA’s turn as well.
What has happened to Graham Kelly, for instance? Is there no one who can go and talk to him about why the FA acted as they did?
Kelly had become chief executive of the FA in 1989. It would be helpful to hear his explanations for the organisation’s actions.
There has, quite rightly, been a lot of talk about the accountability of the police over the tragedy. Why has nobody really mentioned the FA?
It would be very interesting for someone to sit down with Mr Kelly and make sure the FA are not involved in a big cover-up here as well. Once again, they have to face up to their responsibilities for taking the decision they took.
An apology is a beginning but the way they have behaved, they appear to think that is enough.
Maybe a proper inquiry into the actions of the FA would exonerate them from blame.
Maybe it wouldn’t.
But it’s important for people to know why the FA insisted on playing an FA Cup semi-final at a stadium that did not have a safety certificate.
I believe that there will be a House of Commons debate about Hillsborough on Monday.
I am told that the role of the FA will be under scrutiny.
It is only right that it should be.