Harsh Challenge on Mo Salah Ignites Controversy, Angers Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers see the harsh challenge committed by Foxes midfielder Hamza Choudhury on Reds forward Mohamed Salah yesterday about as differently as possible.

An infuriated Klopp labeled the play “dangerous as hell,” and he believes the physical contact should have resulted in a sending off and red card, instead of just the yellow card that Choudhury was booked for. Rodgers, who was making first appearance back at Liverpool since being sacked in 2015, believes it was not anything “malicious” nor an “overly bad challenge.”

“It is dangerous as hell. I don’t want to cause the boy any problems, but he has to calm down. He has to calm down,” said Klopp of the controversial sequence.

“It’s just a challenge which I really don’t understand. How he can do it, because the ball is far away. The player is full sprint to bring him down without the ball around, for me there is only one color card.”

“I see in your eyes that I am probably the only one who sees it like this.”

Mo Salah left the pitch on his own power, but he was hobbling a bit. He received a knock on his ankle, and will undergo scans to determine if there is any significant damage.

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Rodgers, of course, holds a polar opposite view of what went down.

“I don’t think it was an overly bad challenge,” Rodgers said. “Salah is coming inside and the speed he travels and Hamza is coming back, there is a clash.

“I’m not sure if it is a dead leg or whatever? I have tried to look at it but the camera is quite a way away. The emotion of the game, it might seem worse than it was.”

“He is an honest boy, Hamza. He makes challenges, he’s aggressive, but I don’t think there was anything malicious.”

Sadly, Choudhury has endured racial abuse online since the play occurred, which has been publicly condemned by Leicester.

While opinions are divided over the severity of what the Foxes player did on the pitch, we should all be able to agree that what’s happened to him online since the incident is wrong and deplorable.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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