Klopp blasts criticism of goal celebrations with Covid protocol reality check

Date published: Friday 15th January 2021 9:31 - Jonny Whitfield

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Jurgen Klopp confidently declared that football has “worked” in recent months as he rejected criticism of players’ goal celebrations.

Amid a rise in coronavirus infection, the Premier League reminded its members on Thursday to “set an example” on the pitch.

This includes goal celebrations, for which players have faced criticism for a lack of social distancing.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, though, insisted that his team will find it hard to follow the enhanced protocols. Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard echoed that sentiment.

As such, Liverpool boss Klopp faced questions on the debate in his press conference on Friday.

He said that “nothing happened” from goal celebrations since football resumed in June, adding that that the joy of scoring a goal allows players to “forget” about the issues off the field.

Klopp also urged the Premier League to bear in mind official advice from world leaders at the start of the pandemic – that being outside presents less risk of infection than indoor situations.

However, his biggest point came about the level of testing available to top-flight players.

Klopp said: “I know one of the things to talk about is the role model we should be, but we get tested two times, sometimes three times a week.

“We know that between the tests there are still two days where you could get infected. It has happened, pretty much all of [the cases] happened when people left their bubbles.

“It’s the only moment that we try to forget this stuff. If somebody says ‘Oh they can hug each other, why can’t I?’ then we have a problem.

“But I think people are smart enough to make the difference between people who are constantly tested and those who are not. It makes a massive difference.

“If we think or feel that we are threatening our teammates we never would do it. It would just not happen.”

Klopp provides Covid protocol reality check

The German coach then provided a candid view from a day in the life of Liverpool’s players and staff.

“We have clean meetings in the rooms, I have to shout so that players can understand me. So, I understand the discussion and I have no real solution,” he said.

“It’s really tough for our boys because the building is the whole day cold because all the doors are open. Everybody walks through in warm coats, we try absolutely everything.

“We had to close the canteens. All the really important things on the daily basis, we can’t do it so we don’t do it. We don’t sneak into a room and say ‘Nobody sees us’.

“We just stick to the rules. If somebody says ‘If you do this again [about Covid protocols] then we have to stop’, I wouldn’t understand.

“Nothing happened around goal celebrations. It’s not right.”

Liverpool face Manchester United in a mouthwatering clash on Sunday, with Klopp noting Bruno Fernandes’ obvious threat for the Red Devils.

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