Jurgen Klopp drew a parallel between the burden on footballers and the climate change crisis as the Liverpool boss attacked powerbrokers for refusing to take meaningful action.
Speaking in a news conference ahead of his team’s opening match of the new Premier League season, Klopp railed at the approaching prospect of a mid-season World Cup.
He takes his team to London to tackle Fulham on Saturday, but he then stands to lose many of his top stars in November when they travel to Qatar to represent their countries.
Klopp is irate that such a tournament can be jammed into a season that he would already expect to be busy for Liverpool, and his perception is that nobody is listening to his complaints and concerns.
“It’s just not OK,” Klopp said. “It was decided long ago for, how everybody says, the right reasons.”
When Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup in a December 2010 vote, it was expected the tournament would be played in its usual June-July slot, but average temperatures for that time of year meant it was not feasible to take place then.
It was confirmed in 2015 that it would be played in November and December instead, and Klopp is braced for his players to be mentally and physically exhausted by playing such an intense tournament during the usual timeframe of a Premier League campaign.
Games in England’s top flight will not take place while the World Cup happens, and that means it will be supremely busy either side of the global tournament.
Klopp told assembled reporters: “I was not angry at all before I came in, but when we start talking about it, I really get angry.
“My problem is that as much as everybody knows it’s not right, nobody talks often enough about it that it will be changed.
“You can’t have top-class players and constantly watch them, [and think] ‘Oh my god, how they’re great’. It just doesn’t work.
“It’s like with the climate. We all know we have to change, but nobody’s saying, ‘What do we have to do?'”
Plenty of memorable goals in here
Enjoy every opening day strike under the boss pic.twitter.com/ojgTbZfodq
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 4, 2022
England has seen record temperatures during its current summer, leading to climate fears being raised by campaigners, and Klopp feels football is heading towards a tipping point.
He said: “Why we wouldn’t talk about that and do it properly, and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, FIFA, UEFA, Premier League and FA, please start talking to each other’.
“There must be one meeting where they all sit together, and the only subtext should be the most important part of this game – the players – and that didn’t happen yet.
“This World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons, but everything is fine.”