Coronavirus: Klopp frustrated at questioning, says 'football is not special'

By Sports Desk March 10, 2020

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will respect any decisions made by authorities regarding the coronavirus outbreak and was unhappy at being asked whether he was worried about his players being exposed.

Klopp told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Atletico Madrid he would accept any decision taken relating to holding fixtures behind closed doors.

Fans will be present for Liverpool's clash with Atletico, but elsewhere in Europe all Serie A matches have been halted until next month while a host of other leagues are playing matches without supporters.

"Whatever will be decided, we will respect," Klopp said about the prospect of matches being played behind closed doors. 

"It's clear that we will accept that but I don't know how much sense it will make in this moment.

"We need time to find a solution. How can we get that time and avoid different situations? I don't know enough about how much [closing stadiums] for the football games could help.

"The problem is if you are not in the stadium then you are in close rooms and watching it maybe together, I am not sure what is better in this case – I mean that.

"It's not about me as a manager, it's about being a human being. Some things are more important than football and we realise that in this moment. We all have families, friends, kids, parents who we want to be well." 

After answering initial questions on the virus, Klopp took exception to being asked by a Madrid-based reporter whether he was worried about his players.

Klopp said: "Are you from Madrid? Are you concerned in your city? 

"Playing football is not special, it is just a game, we are not the society, we are part of it and we should all be worried at the same time.

"That's exactly the thing I don’t like, you sit there and ask this, but fly from Madrid to here. They are closing schools and universities and you are obviously concerned, and that is the question. But you think now football is worth travelling for.

"It is our common problem and we cannot sort it with football. We play football, that is our part, what we have to do.

"Your job is to transport information and I hope you do it better than you ask questions. It really gets me angry when you ask me a question and suggest I have a problem that you don't have. We have all the same problem. 

"You talk to people every day to people from close range which I don't do, so are you worried? The players at the moment are all healthy. What we do with not shaking hands is setting a sign, not [because players are more at risk]. 

"It's good for you and it is good for me not to shake hands. It's a sign for society, for everyone. Are we all not in the same boat?"

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