Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has responded to the media after certain journalists took his comment on the Africa Cup of Nations out of context.
After Saturday’s triumph over Arsenal, the German tactician talked about the possibility of losing Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Sadio Mane to the biennial African football showpiece.
“In January, there’s a little tournament in Africa…”
This part of his statement did not go down well with many fans and some journalists who misunderstood the sarcastic context. They then accused Klopp of being disrespectful to African football.
The former Borussia Dortmund handler decided to clear up the confusion on what he meant.
“It’s all good, I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that, to be honest,” Klopp told media after Wednesday’s Champions League game against FC Porto.
“I didn’t mean it like that, come on… so I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the Afcon as a ‘little tournament’ or about the continent of Africa as a ‘little continent’, not at all.
“What I meant was, if you watch the full press conference, then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to because I said there are no international breaks until March now.”
“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,” he continued.
“It’s still a tournament, a big one. We [will] lose our best players to that tournament.
“I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time.
“I really don’t… I know that I would never think like this. I don’t understand why you thought this to be honest, but that’s really not okay as I would never do that.
“But that is it now. It was not my intention, but you made something [more] of it, so that is not so cool to be 100 percent honest.”
Liverpool were already through to the Round of 16 even before Wednesday’striumph over Portuguese side Porto. In their last group game, they are guests of AC Milan on December 7 at San Siro.