Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Klopp calls Africa Cup of Nations move to January is a ‘catastrophe’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has slammed decision Africa Cup of Nations move from June to January as a waste of the time.

Africa Cup of Nations’ was held in June to July in Cameroon but due to weather conditions in the country then tournament shift to January to February 2021.

Klopp belives Liverpool is affected will be affected more as Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Naby Keita (Guinea) all potentially unavailable during that period.

Klopp criticised organisers for making the announcement without consulting players or club sides and made a plea to the decision makers to reconsider.

“Do we really want to open this book? I couldn’t respect Africa Cup of Nations more than I do, I like it, I’ve watched it a lot with difficult circumstances a lot of times,” he said.

“But it’s an obvious problem playing it in the middle of the season. It’s their winter and I get that. A general problem is FIFA plays a tournament in 2021 a week or so after Africa Cup of Nations would have started. I mentioned that in past.

“It doesn’t help Africa’s players. We won’t sell Sadio (Mane), Mo (Salah) and Naby(Keita) because they’re playing in January, of course not but if you are thinking of buying one, you have to think about they won’t play for a month in January. We have to think about that. Players aren’t asked.

“FIFA, who should [step in] doesn’t look like being involved. It’s a strange situation. If we want lesser games they will say take less money. I will say, I am ready to do so. Yes.

“These tournaments are played by players, they don’t have a break! I feel massively for Harry Kane, he might miss Euros because of too many games. It is not easy. No one thinks of players; welfare. All authorities need to come together to sort these things.

“No one talks to each other, they just make a decision. Ask one of the teams what they think playing another game.

“Everyone has reasons to keep competitions and bring in new competitions. That’s the problem. For us it’s a catastrophe.

“If we say [a player] can’t go, he’s suspended. How can the club who pay his salary not decide. If he’s injured and we say he cannot play for us, we have to send him to Africa so they can have a look. We don’t have any say. We just plan the route. These are all things that should not be like this.

“I speak about it now and no one will listen to the moaner from Liverpool again. It’s a complete waste of time. As long as nothing changes, I will keep saying it. It’s about the players, not me.”

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