Liverpool’s coach, Jurgen Klopp has responded after being tackled for referring to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) as ‘a little tournament’
During a press conference after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Arsenal, Klopp while answering questions regarding international breaks said there will be a ‘little tournament’ in Africa.
He said, “I’ve heard that so often that there’s no international break until March. In January, there’s a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say, and I think Asia is playing games, too – South America as well, great, can’t wait.”
Watch the video below.
After many, especially African football lovers and journalists expressed displeasure and demanded an apology for the ‘insult’ on Africa, Klopp defended himself, saying that he is not a native speaker of English and that his statement was taken out of context. He added that he never had intention of insulting Africa.
During the press conference after the Champions League game last night, journalist Ojora Babtunde asked him to apologize for ‘demeanly regarding the Africa version of Euro’s, the AFCON, as a little tournament. Klopp explained that it was a way of expressing his frustration at losing vital players at an important stage of the season.
He said, “I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that.
“It’s not even close to the idea in my mind that I want to talk about AFCON as a little tournament, or the continent of Africa like a little continent, not at all.
“What I meant is, because people said, and if you watch the full press conference, if you wanted to understand it in the right way you could have understood it in the right way. I said ‘there’s no international break anymore until March’ and I said: ‘Oh and there’s a little tournament in January,’ and I didn’t mean a little tournament, just like you say it when there’s still a tournament. It’s ironic. There’s still a tournament. A big one. We lose our best players to the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I’m not a native speaker, but if you want to understand me wrong you can do that all the time. I know that I would never think like this. I never understand why you thought like this to be honest, but that’s really not OK, because I would never do that, but that’s it now.
“It was not my intention, but you made something of it. That’s not so cool as well to be 100 per cent honest.” He said
Watch the second Press Conference below.
Liverpool will be without Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane for the month-long tournament, which begins on January 9 and runs till the 6th of February.