Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool, has strenuously denied claims that his remarks regarding Manchester City’s spending prowess were xenophobic.
In his press conference prior to Sunday’s 1-0 triumph over the Premier League champions, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers stated that no other team could compete financially with its northwestern opponent.
“There are three teams in international football (the Gulf state-owned City, Newcastle, and Paris Saint-Germain) that can do whatever they want financially. “It’s legal and everything, which is wonderful, but they can do whatever they want,” was his appraisal of the present power dynamic.
City is believed to have thought that these remarks worsened tensions leading up to a match that has grown increasingly fractious. On Sunday at Anfield, Pep Guardiola reported that coins were thrown at him, and visiting fans sung ugly songs about the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters.
Sunday night, Merseyside Police reportedly received a complaint of possible criminal damage to the City team bus.
The Manchester club has informally claimed that Klopp’s position is “borderline xenophobic.”
Klopp, who is well-known for his liberal beliefs, objected to this insinuation, stating, “In this particular instance, I don’t feel it at all.
“I am familiar with myself. And you cannot attack me with anything that is polar opposite to my personality.
If I were unable to recall the word, I would detest this. I would despise myself for being this way.
“I have frequently spoken things that were somewhat susceptible to misunderstanding. I understand.
“It was not intended; you simply occasionally say things that make you go, ‘Oh my God! It can be construed this way!’ However, this is not one of those instances. Absolutely.”
The rivalry between the two clubs has intensified over the past five years as they have become serious Premier League championship contenders, and while the worst incident was an attack on the City team coach prior to a Champions League match in 2018, there has been underlying animosity since then.
However, at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp lauded Guardiola, City, and summer signing Erling Haaland as presently being the finest in the world. As a result, the Reds manager is perplexed that he is being targeted as the spark for Sunday’s clash.
Graffiti in the away end concourse at Anfield makes reference to the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters (PA) “I’m not sure we need to be best buddies with other teams. I doubt anyone wants to be best friends with us,” said the German, who apologized for allowing his emotions to get the best of him after he was sent off by referee Anthony Taylor late in the game.
“It began with a question (concerning how to compete with City), which I answered, and the rest followed.
“I know what I thought, I put it in context, and I told them how much I respect what they are doing, but that it was still not right for some people.
“Then, if a single fan throws a coin, it will be a colossal error that will be penalized, and it appears like the victory was eclipsed since it was a magnificent performance against an exceptionally formidable opponent.
“I thought the performance was great, and now everyone is talking about what I said and did and what they thought of it. I believe that should not be the case.”
If proven guilty, he might face a touchline ban, but he has until Friday to react, so he can remain in the technical area for Wednesday’s match against West Ham.
The FA issued the following statement: “Jurgen Klopp has been charged with a violation of FA Rule E3 following Sunday’s Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Liverpool manager has until Friday, October 21, to respond to allegations that his conduct during the 86th minute of this match was improper.