Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp was caught in a tiff with an indignant African journalist, who demanded an apology from the German over his comment on the AFCON cup being a “little tournament”.
In a presser held a week ago, Klopp had expressed frustration over the unfavourable timings of the international matches. He mentioned that there were no further fixtures till March, before sarcastically adding: “In January, there’s a little tournament in Africa.”
The line had clearly offended the journalist, namely Ojora Babatunde, who put forth his dissent in poignant words. Addressing the manager in the conference post the Liverpool-Porto clash, he stated that the 54-year-old’s words were distasteful towards the tournament, and by extension to the fans and the continent as a whole.
Babatunde didn’t shy away from suggesting that it would behove Klopp to apologize for his remarks, making the conversation even feistier.
The German, however, did not accede to the journalist’s stance, stating that his words had been taken out of context and misunderstood. His statements were merely ironical and that he did not intend on slandering either AFCON or the continent of Africa by any means.
It is indubitable that come AFCON, Jürgen Klopp’s side will be the most affected in the Premier League given that they will be deprived of the services of their main men, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, both of whom hail from African nations.
Naby Keita too will be taking a flight back home to play for his country Guinea. What’s worse is that their absence will occur at a crucial juncture of the league, which could make it that much harder for the Reds to catch up with the table-toppers Chelsea.
Thus, it makes little sense that the manager would try to downplay the magnitude of the said competition, and this was a simple case of miscommunication blown out of proportion.
Wow, Jurgen Klopp clashes with a reporter after calling AFCON "little" 😬— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 25, 2021
🛑 "STOP!" declared the Liverpool boss, after he was accused of insulting fans, players and the entire African continent! 😳#OptusSport #PL pic.twitter.com/NrKKns6wga