Jurgen Klopp has condemned a rescheduling of the Africa Cup of Nations back to January as “a catastrophe for Liverpool”.
But the Reds boss has insisted he will not consider selling Mo Salah, Sadio Mane or Naby Keita, even though all three hugely important players could potentially miss six weeks of thew new season.
The tournament had been switched to the summer from its previous winter slow, to reduce the impact on European leagues.
But the 2021 competition will be played in Cameroon, and it is simply too hot to play during June and July there.
So now Africa’s top players will be forced to miss their upwards of 10 games during January and February this time next year.
And Klopp, for a full seven minutes, spoke passionately about the threat to players’ welfare…even though he admits he is wasting his breath: “The Africa Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.
“On top of that we have absolutely no power so if we did say ‘We don’t let him go’ the player is suspended. How is that possible that the company who pays the player cannot decide that the player has to stay or not?
“If you would say ‘Let’s play the African Cup of Nations but the players play in other countries, not in Africa, it still would be a great tournament but not the superstars but the superstars of tomorrow.
“I don’t say that would be a solution for it but it is strange we have absolutely no say. We just sit there and plan the route, the flight for the boys, and say ‘There you go, have the boys’.
“Nowadays it should not be like this. But I speak here about it and no-one will listen. It is like the biggest waste of time ever. The Moaner from Liverpool or whatever it is again, on track. As long as nothing changes I will say it all the time.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.