Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham insisted today that the Football Association has serious questions to answer over its role in the Hillsborough disaster.
An independent report published on Wednesday cleared Liverpool fans of blame for the tragedy that claimed the lives of 96 people and revealed that police had systematically tried to cover up their own failings.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Burnham, who has long campaigned for justice for those who died, said that "criminal proceedings are justified" for those culpable for Hillsborough and he added that the FA should face further scrutiny for allowing the match to go ahead at the Sheffield stadium.
"Hillsborough had no valid safety certificate," Mr Burnham said. "Supporters were put in that ground in unsafe conditions, a total failure of police control.
"It came out of that culture of disregard for football supporters that we had in the 1980s - everything was seen as an issue of hooliganism - and just a complete negligence of people's health and safety ... that's what gave rise to this and that's why it needs to be a proper process of accountability and also from the Football Association.
"I think they need to ask some serious questions of themselves today as to why Liverpool (fans) were in that away end that day."
Asked what questions the FA should face, Mr Burnham responded: "I think the main one is why did they allow a semi-final to be played at a ground without a valid safety certificate? That is the question. I don't think there is an answer that people can accept because I think that it was basic negligence of people's safety.
"That is the key question for the FA to answer. Why were supporters allowed to go into those unsafe conditions and did the FA know about all the other near misses at all the other semi-finals down the years?"
Today FA chairman David Bernstein offered "a full and unreserved apology" to all those affected by the Hillsborough disaster.
He said: "We are deeply sorry this tragedy occurred at a venue the FA selected.
"This fixture was played in the FA's own competition, and on behalf of the Football Association I offer a full and unreserved apology and express sincere condolences to all of the families of those who lost their lives and to everyone connected to the City of Liverpool and Liverpool Football Club."
Bernstein praised the work of the panel in compiling the report and expressed sympathy for the families.
He added: "This should never have happened. Nobody should lose their lives when setting out to attend a football match and it is a matter of extreme regret and sadness that it has taken so long for these findings to be published and the truth to be told."
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