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03rd Nov 2022

Jurgen Klopp says players shouldn’t be expected to protest at the World Cup

Callum Boyle

jurgen klopp world cup

‘They go there to play football’

Jürgen Klopp has said it is unfair to expect players to make political protests at the World Cup this winter.

This year’s World Cup is one of the most controversial to date, with many critical of Qatar’s human rights record which includes the treatment of migrant workers and a ban on same-sex relationships.

Some countries have opted to protest the tournament in their own way. Denmark will hide their badge and kit manufacturer on their kits while Australia released a team video publicly condemning Qatar’s human rights records.

Other nations’ captains will also wear an armband in support of LGBT+ rights. England captain Harry Kane will be one of them.

However Klopp has said that there should be no pressure for players to make political statements at this year’s tournament.

He said: “I don’t like that we expect [the players] now to do something. They go there to play football.

“It’s not about this generation’s players to say now that ‘we don’t go, or we don’t do that.’

“The decision [to hold the tournament in Qatar] was made by other people, and if you want to criticise anybody, criticise the people who made the decision.”

Klopp was speaking at an event where he received the Freedom of Liverpool award for his services to the club. Under his guidance, Liverpool have won one Premier League title, one Champions League title and the FA Cup.

The 55-year-old is only the second foreign national to be awarded the title, with Nelson Mandela the other individual.

Upon gifting him the reward the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Roy Gladden, said that Klopp has the traits of a “true scouser” as well as praising him for his response to the scenes outside the Stade de France in Paris at the Champions League final this year.

Gladden said: “His actions lifted the spirits of many thousands who had been treated in such a violent and loathsome way.

“I promise him it will be a long time before this is forgotten.”

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