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You’re being sarcastic – Garth Crooks slams Klopp over AFCON comment

Former Manchester United and Tottenham player, Garth Crooks, has slammed Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, over his comments on the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Crooks said that he is not Klopp’s ‘biggest fan’, adding that his comments about the AFCON being a ‘small tournament’ was a sarcastic one.

Speaking with the BBC, Crooks said, “It wasn’t until I heard Jurgen Klopp’s explanation in his pre-match interview prior to the AC Milan fixture when challenged by a journalist that I understood the comments were shrouded in irony.

“Klopp was being sarcastic and suggesting the tournament was quite the opposite. Far from being a little tournament, the Liverpool manager was insisting the tournament was far more demanding than people realize.

“The problem with sarcasm is that it doesn’t always travel well and what might appear funny in a dressing room doesn’t always translate well or is very clear in other parts of the world.

“It will also teach Klopp not to be reckless in future with language from the dressing room. I might not be his biggest fan, but I’ve seen enough of his teams to know that he respects not only African football but also their footballers. Otherwise, why would he buy them?”

In November, Klopp caused a stir as he described the AFCON as a ‘small tournament’ after Liverpool’s Premier League 4-0 win against Arsenal.

Asked if he was relieved there was no international break until March next year, Klopp replied: “I’ve heard that so often that there is no international break until March.

“In January, there Is a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say, and I think Asia is playing games too, South America as well, great, can’t wait.”

Meanwhile, Speaking after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over FC Porto in the Champions League a few weeks ago, Klopp clarified his comments had been misinterpreted.

“I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t know why you understand it like that,” Klopp told a journalist, who had suggested his comments had offended African players and fans.

“It’s not even close to the idea in my mind that I want to talk about AFCON as a little tournament, or the continent of Africa like a little continent, not at all.

“What I meant is, because people said, and if you watch the full press conference, if you wanted to understand it in the right way, you could have understood it in the right way.”

Klopp added, “There is still a tournament. A big one. We lose our best players to the Africa Cup of Nations.

“I am not a native speaker, but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time. I know that I would never think like this.”

The AFCON tournament is only a few weeks away.

Liverpool are set to lose some of their players, including Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, for the AFCON 2021 tournament, which runs from January 9 to February 6, 2022.

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