BRITAIN TAKES SOBER LOOK AT SOCCER
LONDON — Some traditional aspects of British soccer may have to be changed to prevent disasters like the Hillsborough stadium tragedy, soccer authorities say. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has ordered an inquiry into Saturday's incident, in which 94 sports fans died.
Survivors and the news media Sunday pointed the finger at the opening of a gate behind a standing-room-only section of stands, one of British soccer's traditional ``terraces.''
The eagerly anticipated game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest clubs was open to ticket-holders only. But as the match started, hundreds of others were allowed to enter the Sheffield stadium.
Police said the action was taken to relieve a ``life-threatening'' crush of fans outside the stadium. But it triggered a surge down the terrace, forcing people at the front against a spiked fence erected to stop hooligans from invading the field.
The general secretary of the International Football Federation said the terraces would have to be done away with.
``Numbered seating is the only answer,'' Sepp Blatter said. ``This will eliminate overcrowding.'' Only a few of Britain's soccer fields provide seats for all spectators.