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Klopp blasts FIFA for mid-season AFCON tournament

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool
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Jurgen Klopp has read the riot act to FIFA following the announcement of another January African Cup of Nations.

Only Yesterday the AFCON schedule was announced. The tournament to decide the very best international side on the African continent will be played in January 2021.

This falls during the middle of many domestic league seasons.

Klopp has three players who will now miss up to a month of the season on international duty.

In an interview reported by Goal, he is unhappy with FIFA’s decision and admits its bad news for his side in particular.

He said:

“The African Cup of Nations going back to January is, for us, a catastrophe.”

“I couldn’t respect the African Cup of Nations more than I do because I like the competition.”

“But it is an obvious problem that you play a tournament in the middle of the season.”

Klopp insists it bad news for players as well as clubs.

He added:

“The other thing is it doesn’t help African players.”

“We will not sell Sadio, Mo or Naby now because they have a tournament in January and February, of course not.”

“But if you have to make a decision about bringing in a player it is a massive one because before the season you know for four weeks you don’t have them.”

“It doesn’t help the players, for sure.”

“But these decisions are made without asking the players, without asking the managers, without asking anyone.”

“It is FIFA who should sort all of that as head of all the different associations.”

Unfortunately, the Liverpool boss feels his complaint will fall on deaf ears.

He concluded:

“But I speak here about it and no-one will listen. It is like the biggest waste of time ever.”