Klopp clashes with reporter

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, has reacted angrily to a reporter who accused him of demeaning Africa by referring to the Africa Cup of Nations, or AFCON, as a “small tournament.”

Klopp was asked about the absence of international holidays till March before Liverpool’s Champions League encounter against Porto on Wednesday night.

“No international break till March,” Klopp responded, “I’ve heard it so many times, but there’s a tiny tournament in Africa in January, I just want to say.”

Following Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Porto, a reporter approached the Liverpool manager and asked him to apologize to the African people for his choice of words.

“It’s all right, I didn’t intend it that way,” the German explained. To be honest, I’m not sure why you think that way.

“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.

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“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 [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 OK 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 per cent honest.”

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