Jurgen Klopp hits back as journalist accuses Liverpool manager of AFCON insult

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on AFCON

Jurgen Klopp says his words about AFCON being a ‘little tournament’ were taken out of context (PA)

Jurgen Klopp clashed with a reporter who accused the Liverpool manager of insulting Africa because he referred to the Africa Cup of Nations as a ‘little tournament’.

The Liverpool manager was asked before Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday evening about the lack of international breaks until March but pointed out that some players will be playing at AFCON in January.

In his light-hearted response, Klopp said: ‘No international break until March, I’ve heard that so often, but in January there’s a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say.’

But after Liverpool’s win victory over Porto at Anfield, Klopp was asked to apologise to the people of Africa for his choice of words.

‘It’s all good, I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that to be honest,’ Klopp replied.

‘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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