Club World Cup trumps League Cup as Klopp says date clash will force Liverpool out

October 31 – In a highly unusual move, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has threatened to pull his team out of the League Cup competition due to fixture congestion.

The European champions reached the last eight of the domestic tournament on Wednesday after a 5-5 thriller with Arsenal was settled on penalties and are next scheduled to face Aston Villa in December 16, two days before Klopp’s team are supposed to be contesting the Club World Cup semi-final (their entry point into the FIFA competition) in Qatar on December 18.

“If they don’t find a proper date for us, and I don’t mean 3 am on Christmas Day, then we can’t play the game and whoever is our opponent will go through – or Arsenal will play it,”  said Klopp before being paired with Villa in the quarterfinals. “We will not be the victims of this problem.”

“FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there and we have to come there and we will do. The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously.

“If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list. Hopefully it starts now.”

A Football League spokesman said: “The EFL is in discussions with Liverpool to identify an alternative date given the club’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup competition.”

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