Klopp denies that his City comments were xenophobic
The Liverpool manager made comments ahead of their game against Manchester City on Sunday that he said have been misunderstood.
Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 on Sunday and tensions between the two clubs were high. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had made some comments before the game that some people had taken the wrong way. Reporters asked Klopp if he thought that what he said could be interpreted as xenophobic and Klopp said he would “hate it” if that’s how they were seen.
What did Klopp say about Manchester City?
Before the Liverpool/Manchester City game, Klopp made a comment about City’s spending power, saying that they, as well as Qatari-owned Paris St-Germain and Saudi-backed Newcastle United, could “do what they want financially”. Though Klopp and City manager Pep Guardiola have always held mutual respect for each other, the rivalries between the clubs they manage has intensified in recent years. It’s fair to say that without The Reds, City’s dominance of English football would have been even more obvious. After his comments about the Sheikh Mansour-owned City having a financial advantage, tensions grew even higher with some accusing Klopp of being xenophobic.
When asked about the comments, Klopp was appalled and denied that he would ever intentionally say something xenophobic and that’s not how he meant the comment.
“In this specific case, I don’t feel it at all,” said Klopp. “I know myself. And you cannot hit with something which is miles away from my personality. If I was - I cannot remember the word - like this I would hate it. I would hate myself for being like this.”
Liverpool vs Manchester City: Tensions high during Premier League match
Guardiola said that coins were thrown at him during the game and that the Liverpool fans were singing “vile” chants. There was damage to the City bus and Klopp was given a red card. It is thought that Klopp’s comments fueled the fire and caused more tension between the sides.
“I have said a lot of times things that were a little bit open for misunderstanding. I know that, but not intentionally, said Klopp. “Just sometimes you say things and you think, ‘Oh my God! It can be interpreted like this!’ but this is not one of these moments.”
City have not yet condemned the chants from the Liverpool fans or the coin throwing. Klopp will have to respond to the FA by Friday; they could face a one-game suspension. When a reporter asked Klopp about City’s silence on the matter, he said he preferred not to comment on it.
“We responded as a club. That is what we had to do. That’s it,” said Klopp. “Apart from that, everything from a non-native English speaker would be open to misinterpretation again.”