Thursday 25 November 2021
Jurgen Klopp, coach of the Liverpool team, defended his intent in his statement regarding the African Nations Championship to be held next January in Cameroon.
The tournament is scheduled to start on January 9, 2022, and end on February 6 of the same year.
During that period, Liverpool will miss the efforts of the trio, Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Naby Keita (Guinea).
During the press conference after Liverpool beat Porto 2-0 in the fifth round of the Champions League, Klopp was involved in an exchange of fiery statements between him and a journalist.
According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, the reporter said to Klopp: “Hi Jurgen, during your last session before the match, you intentionally called the African Cup of Nations (small tournament)… You owe the continent an apology.”
Klopp surprised the reporter by replying, “I didn’t mean it that way, and to be honest I don’t know why I understood it that way.”
Then the reporter came back and told the Liverpool coach: “That’s what you said, I listened to your talk and you said that the continent is in Africa (small).”
Klopp then defended his comments: “I didn’t mean to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a (small tournament) or Africa as a small continent, it never crossed my mind.”
“If you watched the entire press conference you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March,” the German added.
Then I said, “Oh, there’s a mini tournament in January, and I didn’t mean a mini tournament in the sense, it’s a tournament where we’re going to lose our best players.”
Then the reporter came back and said: “But you wouldn’t say (in Europe minor tournament) to Klopp’s reply saying: ‘I’m not a local speaker, but if you want to get me wrong, you can do it all the time’.”
“I know I would never think that way, and I don’t understand why you think that’s what I mean, it’s not really good because I would never.”
And he concluded: “This was not my intention, but you made something out of nothing.”