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Why did Liverpool officials confiscated Wataru Endo flag at Anfield

Nov 2, 2023 #Liverpool, #Wataru Endo

Liverpool fans witnessed a banner dedicated to Wataru Endo confiscated by officials at Anfield on Sunday ahead of the team’s match against Nottingham Forest.

Liverpool have clarified their position on the flag after a banner titled ‘Wataru Endo’ was confiscated.

The incident occurred during the club’s 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Stewards did not allow supporter Mark Sweatman to enter Anfield with a banner, despite having previously shown his support for Endo from the top tier of the main stand.

Under Premier League guidance, Liverpool have banned the display of Israeli and Palestinian flags due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. However, the banner in question combined Endo’s name with the Japanese flag.

banner

The Athletic reported that Liverpool officials have admitted that confiscating Endo’s banner was a mistake.

According to club guidelines, the use of national flags is prohibited. However, flags clearly dedicated to Liverpool or a specific player can be flown, provided they are of the required size and have a fire safety certificate.

When communicating with the Reds about the Endo banner, Mr Sweatman was informed that his design was still not permitted to be used in the Main Stand as it exceeded the permitted 2m x 1m dimensions. Banners exceeding this size are only permitted in the Kop and away section.

“I’m absolutely devastated,” Sweatman said in an interview with The Athletic. “Since the Grandstand opened in 2016, I have hung the banner in the same spot for every home game. It hasn’t gotten much bigger in the last seven years. The club also posts on the program and on the club website. , and used to tell fans where they could see my work locally.

“They told me they couldn’t introduce the Endo flag because it was a ‘nationalist flag,’ and I feel like they decided to punish me for breaking the rules by making a fuss on Sunday.”

“First they apologized for the reasons they gave me, but then I was told that I should never have been allowed to put up the banner in the main stand,” he continued.

“Then they called back to say they wanted to continue working with me but that my banners had to meet size requirements going forward.

They have said I can take in smaller versions of my banners, but that Endo one cost me around £200 in materials and about 20 hours of work to produce. Who is going to pay for that? It just doesn’t feel fair.”

In a post on social media today, Mr Sweatman gave an update from his @KopCraftsman account: “The Club’s Chief Safety Officer has called me this afternoon and told me that, though I have been allowed to hang by banners between U4 and U5 since the opening of the Main Stand in 2016, I will no longer be permitted to do so.

“They cite the Flags and Banners Policy, which allows the display of flags up to 2m x 1m in size. In my opinion, there is nothing in this directive that prevents the granting of special permission for larger banners. There is nothing.”

He concluded his post with: “The only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that the club has decided to punish me because I had the audacity to question the club’s decision on Sunday. Did you see the end of my banner? This could be the end for me and LFC.”

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