Jurgen Klopp has compared player welfare to climate change as the issue everyone is aware of but no one is prepared to confront as he called upon the footballing authorities to act before it is too late.
The Liverpool manager believes governing bodies like Fifa and the Premier League have an urgent need to put self-interest aside, start talks and find a way to ease the burden on top footballers.
Liverpool played 64 games last season, while Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane featured in the African Cup of Nations during the campaign, and Klopp is angry the World Cup will take place in November and December and before a frantic final five months with their clubs.
He said: “If all the players then have a break it is not a problem, it is good, It is like a winter break which I had that in Germany as a player a lot, four weeks [off], stuff like that. The problem is the players who play the World Cup, that is just not okay but it is decided a long time ago. If you go to the final at a World Cup and win it or lose or a third-place match you are already quite busy and the then the rest starts a week later.
“When I start talking about it, I get really 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. Something has to change. You cannot just constantly watch top-class players and say, ‘Oh my God, how they are great.’
“It is like with the climate. We all know it has to change but nobody is saying what we have to do. Why we wouldn’t talk about it and do it properly and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Fifa, Premier League, FA, start talking to each other.’ There must be one meeting where they all talk to each other and the only subject should be the most important part of this game, the players.
“It didn’t happen yet because the managers are in the jump seat, in out, in, out, why should we be concerned about the long-term effects? But now I am a long time here and some others talk from time to time to about it but all the rest has his own interest so that makes it not easy. This World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons.”
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