December 18 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, in Qatar for the Club World Cup, says he’s not the right person to talk about human rights in the country and whether it fit to host global tournaments.
The European champions play Mexico’s Monterrey at the Khalifa International Stadium in the semi-final tonight and Klopp was asked at a news conference about Qatar’s suitability to stage major sporting events like the 2022 World Cup given concerns over its stance on homosexuality and immigrant workers’ rights. Liverpool in pre-Qatar preparations had already chosen to change hotels as their original accommodation had been a construction site where there had been a number of migrant worker deaths.
“This is a real serious thing to talk about I think and the answers should come from people who know more about it. I have to be influential in football but not in politics,” Klopp replied.
“Anything I say wouldn’t help, it would just create another headline, positive or negative. I like you ask the question but I think I am the wrong person.”
Klopp said decisions on where to host events were not for sports officials to decide but administrators.
“We arrived here, we were very welcomed. Everything is organised as it should be. Organising the competition wherever it is they have to think about it. Athletes shouldn’t,” he said.
“We represent Liverpool, we are invited so we should go there. If sportsmen make a decision about competitions wherever it is in the world, that is not right. My personal opinion, I have one, of course – I think we should all be treated equally, that is clear. But we don’t have the time to judge things when we are here, we only have time for training.”
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