Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp angrily responded to suggestions he had “insulted” Africans by calling the continent’s Nations Cup a “small tournament”.
Klopp oversaw a routine 2-0 Champions League win for his side against Porto at Anfield on Wednesday night, who have maintained their perfect record in the tournament so far this season.
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Subsequently, however, Klopp was asked by an angry reporter about another competition – the Africa Cup of Nations which will take place from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.
Especially for Liverpool, the continental centerpiece will mean they will be star-less Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, who will be called up for their respective countries.
This will deprive the Reds of crucial firepower for a crucial part of their Premier League campaign.
Klopp lamented the upcoming absence of his African stars and recently called the CAN tournament “small”.
Klopp was confronted with the comments Wednesday evening by a reporter who claimed he had “insulted” Africans with the remarks.
“I think this is an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people of the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology,” the angry reporter said.
In response, Klopp said he just meant the phrase “ironically”.
“What I wanted to say is if you watch the whole press conference you might have understood it correctly if you wanted to, because I said there was no international break. until March now, “retorted the German.
“I said ‘oh there’s a little tournament in January’ and I didn’t mean a little tournament, I was just saying it’s still a tournament, it’s ironic. It’s still a tournament, a big one. We are losing our best players because of this tournament … “
Like it or not, Klopp and Liverpool will still have to deal with the loss of some key names in January as they battle on the Premier League front.