« It was irony »: after qualifying the CAN of « small tournament », Klopp responds to the controversy


Many European teams will see their African players leave for the next African Cup of Nations (CAN), which will take place from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon. Liverpool will have to deprive themselves during this period of two of their best offensive assets, the Egyptian Mohamed Salah and the Senegalese Sadio Mané.

Asked a few days ago about this competition, the coach of the Reds Jürgen Klopp described the CAN as a “small tournament”. Words that went very badly on the African continent. This Wednesday after the victory against Porto in the Champions League (2-0), the German was arrested by the Nigerian journalist Ojora Babatunde. « I think it’s an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the inhabitants of the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology, » the journalist told him.

« I don’t know why you understand it like that »

Surprised, Klopp, did not apologize and pleaded the misunderstood irony. “I didn’t mean to say it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that. It wasn’t even close, and it wasn’t even my idea, my intention to talk about CAN as a small tournament or the African continent as a small continent. Not at all. What I meant, if you watch the entire press conference, and if you wanted to understand it the right way, you could have understood it the right way because they (ljournalists) said there was no international break until March. And I said: Oh there’s a little tournament in January… It is ironical. It’s a great tournament and we are losing our best players for this tournament. « 

Explanations that did not really convince the Nigerian journalist who again relaunched the German: « You wouldn’t say that in Europe, you wouldn’t say a small tournament in Europe. Klopp then became more and more annoyed. “English is not my mother tongue. But if you want to misunderstand me, you can do it all the time. I know I wouldn’t think like that. « 

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