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Stop pressuring players into World Cup protests, demands Liverpool boss

Jurgen Klopp says players and managers shouldn’t be forced to take a stand on migrant workers and human rights

Football players and managers at Qatar 2022 should not repeatedly be asked to take a stand on human rights issues and the plight of migrant workers in the host country during the World Cup, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Qatar has faced intense pressure over its local laws and alleged mistreatment of foreign workers since it was awarded the tournament at the turn of the 2010s.

Some teams have already launched protests, with the captains of many European countries vowing to wear ‘One Love’ rainbow armbands in a tribute to the LGBTQ community in a country where homosexuality is illegal.

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According to Klopp, however, it’s now time to let players and managers focus on football, as was demanded by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a letter to the 32 participating countries seen by Sky Sports this week.

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© Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images
World Cup teams urged to keep politics out of tournament by FIFA

“I don’t like the fact that now players from time to time get in a situation where they have to now send a message,” Klopp told reporters in a pre-match press conference on Friday.

“[We are] now telling players, ‘You have to wear this armband or if you don’t do it then you are not on their side. And if you do it, you are on their side.’ No, no, no, it’s footballers.

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“It’s a tournament we have to organize and players go there and play and do the best for their countries. They have nothing to do with the circumstances. It’s all not OK for the players.

“We all let it happen… it’s there and it’s fine. Because 12 years ago (when Qatar won the bid), nobody did anything. We cannot change it now.”

Klopp pointed out in comments that echoed those previously made by compatriot Toni Kroos.
Like Real Madrid midfielder Kroos, who has retired from the German national team, Klopp also won’t be going to the World Cup.

“How it happened was not right in the first place. But now it’s there. Now let them play the games – the players and the managers,” Klopp continued.

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“Don’t put Gareth Southgate constantly in a situation where he has to talk about everything. I’m not a politician, he’s not a politician. He’s the manager of England, let him do that,” he said, in reference to criticism that the Three Lions manager has received.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup is set to kick off on November 20 and the final will take place on December 18.

https://ift.tt/PNjRBKX 05, 2022 at 05:46PM
from RT – Daily news

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