Jurgen Klopp has urged the football authorities to ‘get around the table and talk’ about the scheduling of the Club World Cup as Liverpool prepare to begin their campaign today.
The European champions have travelled to Qatar for the inter-continental tournament this week, where they will face Mexican side Monterrey at the semi-final stage this evening.
The scheduling of the competition mid-season means that Liverpool will be playing catch up when they return to domestic action, while they were also forced to play a weakened side comprised of youth players for their Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Aston Villa last night.
Klopp admits that the timing of the Club World Cup is far from ideal for his side, and has urged the authorities to discuss potential changes to the football calendar.
“If you asked me if there should be a Club World Cup in the middle of our season, I would say no,” Klopp said at a press conference in Qatar.
“I speak constantly about this kind of competition. We are here so, for us, it is the most important competition in the world. But can it be bigger? I don’t know.
“From the organisation points of view they have to get around the table and talk, because otherwise FIFA say we’ll have a tournament, and UEFA say so will we, and then South America too.
“And they all think their tournament is most important. So it’s not so easy. In the summer, yes, it is nice. But you cannot then have all the other tournaments. You cannot just add on tournaments. They won’t like this but it is my opinion and I think all day about football.”
The decision to host the tournament in Qatar has led to criticism from many given the country’s human rights record, their stance on homosexuality and immigrant worker’s rights amongst the major concerns.
Whilst Klopp expressed his desire for equality, the Liverpool boss said he was the wrong person to address regarding the issues and says the organisers must ‘think’ about the venues for their affiliated competitions.
“I have an opinion about football, I have an opinion about that as well, but this is a real serious thing to talk about and I think and the answers should come from people who know more about it.
“Organising the competition wherever it is in the world, FIFA did that, so the organisers have to think about these things. Athletes shouldn’t. We shouldn’t. We represent Liverpool, we are invited so we should go there.
“If sportsmen have make a decision about competitions, wherever it is in the world, that is not right. My personal opinion about homosexuality and all these things, I have one of course, I think we should all be treated equally. That is clear.
“We don’t have the time to judge things when we are here, we only have time for training. That’s it.”