Referee suspended for offensive Hillsborough disaster tweet

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An amateur referee has been suspended for eight weeks by the Football Association over an offensive comment he made about the Hillsborough disaster.

Craig Langton, who is a fireman in Nottinghamshire and whose wife is a police officer, sent a message on Twitter to a woman whose father was a victim in the disaster.

The woman had sent tweets to the official Liverpool account indicating that someone was selling memorial tickets relating to the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr Langton sent a response on April 4 saying: “Typical scousers and you want us to believe your innocent in all this. #Blamethepolice.”

He has been fined £100 by the FA and warned to his future conduct. His suspension will start in August.

An FA spokesman said: “The exchange took place while the Hillsborough inquests were taking place and had reached a very sensitive part of the proceedings, especially relating to the police evidence.”

The written decision said Mr Langton had told the disciplinary hearing he had not meant to offend anyone.

He said he had sent the woman involved a letter of apology.

The FA report said: “Mr Langton accepted that he had made a huge mistake and that his tweet was badly worded.

“That said he did not seem to show any real understanding of the offence/distress he had clearly caused by his tweet.

“Following the tweet in question he received abusive phone calls; had takeaway meals delivered to his house and for some time had to park his car away from the house due to threats made.

“The commission were concerned that even today Mr Langton did not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the matter and the upset that it had caused.”