Jurgen Klopp says players should not answer questions about Qatar’s suitability to host the World Cup, stressing that the football world, especially the media, has not criticized the price for the 2010 bid enough.
Klopp has spoken out against hosting a World Cup in Qatar in the middle of a domestic season, but believes the players should not get caught up in the political debate.
Calls have been made by advocacy groups for players to debate the host country’s record of human rights, alleged mistreatment of migrant workers and legal bans on same-sex relationships. However, FIFA has written to World Cup teams asking them to focus on football, not morality.
Captains from nine European countries, including England and Wales, plan to wear OneLove bracelets during the World Cup as part of an anti-discrimination initiative and in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
During his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Tottenham on Super Sunday, the German said he would not be going to the World Cup, saying the issues now being raised should have been raised when Qatar the World Cup was awarded. cup 2010.
Read below the full transcript of his seven-minute exchange with journalists at the World Cup in Qatar:
Journalist: “As a football fan, are you as excited about this World Cup as you normally would be?”
Journalist: “Is that because of the timing or the problems around it?”
Klopp: “Both. I’m going to watch the matches anyway, but it’s different. I saw an old documentary about the whole situation.
“When it was announced that Russia and Qatar are the next places for the next two World Cups, I think it was the first time in history that they announced two in one. We all know how it happened and how you remember it. can always make it happen.
“No legal issue after that has really led to a… ‘Now it’s open, now everyone knows’. It was still hidden everywhere and you’re like, ‘Wow, how could they let that happen?’. It’s 12 years ago, and now it’s coming.
“It has nothing to do with Qatar and they want the World Cup, now it’s here. The moment you put it there, all the things that followed were clear. The people at that time, everyone involved, had known.
“The moment we talk about human rights later in the sense that people have to work there in conditions that are, to put it nicely, difficult.
“We couldn’t play the World Cup there in the summer because of the temperature. [but] it’s pretty hot right now [there].
“There wasn’t one stadium in Qatar, maybe one, so they had to build stadiums there. Nobody thought about that, I don’t think anyone said that that day. So someone had to build them because they don’t just shit [out of thin air]and there is a new stadium.
“That’s the situation, and it can just make you angry. How can you not?
“Again, I’m looking at it from a football perspective and I don’t like players getting into a situation from time to time where they have to send a message. You are all journalists, you should have sent a message.” You haven’t written the most critical article about it – and not because it’s Qatar and all. No. About the circumstances, that was clear.
“We’re guilty of that. Now we tell the players to wear this armband and if you don’t, you’re not on their side and if you do, you’re on their side. No, no, they’re footballers, it’s a tournament and we have to organize it, players go there and play and do the best for their country, it has nothing to do with the circumstances.
“I see in the news, ‘What’s it like to be here?’, and things like this and it’s all not OK for the players. It’s a tournament, it’s here, and we’re all going to make it happen and it’s is fine because 12 years ago nobody did anything then, we can’t change it now, go there.
“There are great people there and it’s not like everything is bad at all. It’s just how it happened, it wasn’t good in the first place. But now it’s here, let them play the games, just let them play the games play, the players and managers. And don’t constantly put Gareth Southgate in a situation where he has to talk about everything. He’s not a politician, he’s the manager of England. Let him do that.
“If you want to write something else about it, do it, but just do it instead of asking us and all this stuff – ‘Klopp said’ and ‘Southgate said’ – like it would change anything. We all have, you more than me, let it happen 12 years ago.”
Journalist: “I would say the media has done more to expose human rights issues.”
Klopp: “But not then, not then”.
Journalist: “More than the football community has.”
Klopp: “How is it possible? At that time it was just a story that it happens and there it was already clear what was going to happen.
“If you follow it up and think, ‘It’s hard to build the stadiums in Qatar because you have to build them in the summer,’ and it’s 50 degrees or whatever in the summer. That’s not good for people to be outside to be [in that temperature] and doing heavy physical work is actually impossible. None of these guys and there would have been enough time in the next four years to say, ‘The process wasn’t right, a lot of people took money for the wrong reason’.
Journalist: “There were many…”
Klopp: “I know that happened, but nothing has changed.”
Journalist: “Football people made the decision in the first place, about FIFA.”
Klopp: “No, they were football politicians. Now you’re feeling personal again – I can see from your face that you personally feel guilty about me for saying journalists should have done more. Look at your body language, how are you there now? Honestly. ” [Klopp imitates one of the journalists]
“‘No, we did. But nothing happened. The football people did’.
“Do you really think we’ve done enough in the first place? Now make it a story, now when it happened, now come out of a corner and now pressure players?
“That’s what you’ll do by questioning these kinds of things, by asking these kinds of questions, by asking Harry Kane if he [the rainbow armband], with Harry Kane saying he will wear it. The other guys say, ‘Please, don’t make political statements’. That’s not okay.
“The thing is organized by other people and I’m not saying you let it happen, but we all make it happen.
“Then everything was on the table, everything was on the table. But somehow Mr. (Sepp) Blatter got out and others too. It’s been so long since some of the worst guys have already died. It was so long ago when we could have arranged it.
“It doesn’t say anything about Qatar, they want the World Cup for whatever reason, that’s fine. I want a lot of things and don’t get them and go through with it. We can’t have everything. I will go to the games of course. but yes, it’s different from other World Cups.”