Jurgen Klopp responds to journalist's criticism after calling AFCON a 'little tournament'
Klopp's sense of irony was evidently lost in his comment
Jurgen Klopp has defended calling the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) a 'little tournament' after he got into a heated exchange with a reporter.
The Liverpool boss was speaking after his side's 2-0 win against FC Porto thanks to goals from Thiago and Mohamed Salah but during his press conference, was confronted by a journalist who demanded an apology for Klopp's comments.
In the build-up to the game, Klopp was asked about the lack of international breaks, however he pointed out that the AFCON would be taking place - which will see Liverpool lose key players such as Salah and Sadio Mane - in January.
However the Liverpool boss caused some controversy with his attempt at humour when he said: "No international break until March, I’ve heard that so often, but in January there’s a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say."
Evidently the joke didn't land all that well as one reporter then demanded that the German apologise for his comments after Wednesday night's game, but Klopp tried to clear the air.
"It’s all good, I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that to be honest," he said.
"I didn’t mean it like that, come on… so I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the AFCON as a ‘little tournament’ or about the continent of Africa as a ‘little continent’, not at all.
🗣 "I said there's a little tournament in January, I didn't mean a little tournament, it's ironic."
Things got heated between Jurgen Klopp and reporter who demanded an apology from the manager after he called AFCON a "little tournament" pic.twitter.com/jLhe5jBx4u
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 25, 2021
"What I meant was, if you watch the full press conference, then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to because I said there are no international breaks until March now.
"I said, ‘oh, there’s a little tournament in January’ and I didn’t mean a ‘little’ tournament, I was just saying it’s still a tournament, it’s ironic.
"It’s still a tournament, a big one. We [will] lose our best players to that tournament.
"I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time."
Klopp then went on to express his disappointment that his words were misinterpreted as an insult.
"I really don’t… I know that I would never think like this. I don’t understand why you thought this to be honest, but that’s really not OK as I would never do that.
"But that is it now. It was not my intention but you made something [more] of it, so that is not so cool to be 100 per cent honest."
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