Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says staging the AFCON in January and February will not help players or clubs.
Klopp angry at AFCON timing
SHOWS: LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP SAYING: "I couldn't respect the Africa Cup of Nations more than I do because I like the competition, I watch it a lot, in the past, in my life, I find it a very interesting tournament with most difficult circumstances a lot of times and players what they make of it, sensational players, you see them the first time there but not the last time because they show up in Europe and everywhere, really interesting, but it's an obvious problem that you play in the middle of the season." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP SAYING: "It doesn't help African players, so we will not sell Sadio (Mane), Mo (Salah) or Naby (Keita) now because they have a tournament in January and February, of course not, but if you have to make a decision about bringing in a player, it's a massive one." 4.
WHITE FLASH 5.
SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP SAYING: "It doesn't help the players, for sure not.
But these decisions are made without asking players, without asking managers, without asking anybody, just a decision.
FIFA, who should sort all of that, kind of, as the head of all these different associations, doesn't look like being involved." STORY: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on Friday (January 17) expressed frustration at the Africa Cup of Nations being staged during the domestic season.
Klopp was asked about Liverpool losing key players like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane when AFCON reverts to its usual slot in January and February next year.
"I couldn't respect the AFCON more than I do... but it's an obvious problem to play the tournament in the middle of the season," Klopp added.
"The other thing is that it doesn't help African players.
We will not sell Naby or Sadio because of this tournament, but if you're thinking about bringing in players it is a massive thing.
"FIFA should sort it out but they don't look like they are." Klopp was handed a double injury boost ahead of their Premier League meeting against Manchester United on Sunday with defender Joel Matip and midfielder Fabinho both fit again.
However, the league leaders will be without defender Dejan Lovren (thigh) as well as midfielders Naby Keita (groin) and James Milner (thigh).
Victory on Sunday will extend Liverpool's lead over fifth-placed United to 30 points with a game in hand but Klopp said his team will be wary of their bitter rivals after being held to a 1-1 draw earlier this season.
That match in October was the only time Liverpool dropped points in the current campaign.
(Production: Jim Hatley)