Boris Johnson’s spokesman claimed there is never a justification to boo the national anthem following the hostile reaction of Liverpool fans to God Save the Queen before Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea.
Before the game, a sizable section of Liverpool fans were heard booing both the national anthem and the traditional pre-match hymn Abide With Me, as Jurgen Klopp’s team won in a penalty shootout to keep their dreams of an unprecedented quadruple alive.
When meeting both teams before kick-off, Prince William, who is the president of the Football Association, who also delivered the cup to Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, was welcomed with loud jeers.
The reception has been criticized and now Johnson’s spokesperson has weighed in:
“No,” he said after being asked if the prime minister believes there is ever a justifiable reason to jeer the anthem. Obviously the events over the weekend, it was a great shame that as we were making 150 years of the FA Cup that brings people together that a small minority chose to act in that way.”
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle had led the criticism over the weekend. He told The Mail on Sunday: “I utterly condemn any fans who booed Prince William at Wembley. The FA Cup final should be an occasion when we come together as a country. It should not be ruined by a minority of fans’ totally shameful behaviour. In this year of all years – the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – this is dreadful.”