Klopp Says Liverpool Could Withdraw Players from World Cup Qualifiers

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Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s match tomorrow night vs Chelsea, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said his side might consider withdrawing their players from their respective nations’ World Cup qualifiers.

The German believes that it’s just impossible to please let alone even accommodate everyone’s needs at this point, due to varying coronavirus protocols. The requirements to quarantine and isolate aren’t realistic, the Liverpool manager claims, given the restrictions involved in all the international travel.

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He’s right about that, expecting players to not leave their hotels for ten days just isn’t going to happen. And as Klopp points out, the players are employed by the clubs, first and foremost, and therefore club needs should take priority.

It all sounds like a total mess.

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“Having more information would be great, but we don’t get the information,” Klopp said to his press conference today.

“I think that FIFA was kind of clear, saying we don’t have to let the players go this time and I think all the clubs agree that we cannot just let the boys go and solve the situation when they come back, with our players having a 10-day quarantine in a hotel or whatever.

“That is just not possible. I understand the need of the different FAs, but this is a time when we cannot make everybody happy. So we have to admit that the players are paid by the clubs, which means we have to be first priority. That’s how it is.

“It means we all have understanding for different needs, with competitions coming up in the summer, I get it. But you cannot make everybody happy at the same time in this period of our lives.

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“People need time to make decisions and we don’t think too much about it because we are not influential in it, but we just deal with things other people decided.

“But I think everybody agrees — we can’t let the players go and play for their country and then quarantine for 10 days in a hotel. That’s not how we can do it.”

The fourth and final international break will take place from March 22 to April 2, with the weekend of March 27-28 seeing the bulk of the action.

Klopp continued to discuss the topic, focusing on the COVID aspect of it all.

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“First and foremost, we are concerned, yes, about all the things which happened from a virus point of view in the last few months, when somebody had to leave the bubble,” Klopp continued.

“Within the bubble, we were not without cases, but we have been without cases for a long time now and it never spread. There were two periods — in the last international break, when more cases came up than before and the Christmas period, which was a challenge for all of society.

“And now in England, it is all going in the right direction and looks positive and promising, but yes we are concerned about things.”

There are so many moving pieces here involved in this situation, with several different organizations having dominion, or believing they have the autonomy. There are bound to be clashes and it will be a challenge to resolve it all.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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