Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is “angry” about the much publicised problems surrounding the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, referring to FIFA’s decision to award the tournament to the country, as well human rights issues and player welfare.
It was way back in 2010 when Qatar was announced as the host nation for the 2022 finals, with the process heavily criticised. The summer temperatures have seen the tournament moved to the northern hemisphere winter, causing enormous disruption to club schedules, while homosexuality remains illegal in Qatar at a time when football should to be an inclusive and safe space for all.
Klopp has admitted he will still watch the World Cup but has said the games will feel “different”.
“We all know how it happened and that we can still let it happen, with no legal thing afterwards, led to a real…what can I say? Now it is open, now everybody knows, but still it was hidden and you think: ‘How can that all happen?’ It was 12 years ago,” the Liverpool boss said at length.
“It’s nothing to do with Qatar. They won the World Cup and now it is there. But in the moment you put it there, all the things that followed it up were clear. And the people who were involved at that time should have known,” he added.
“Later on, we talk about human rights in terms of the people who have to work there in circumstances that are, let me say it nicely, difficult.
‘We couldn’t play the World Cup there in the summer because of the temperature and there was not one stadium in Qatar, or maybe one. So you have to build stadiums. I don’t think anybody thought about that on that day, that somebody has to build them. It’s not like Aladdin with his lamp and…Boom! There’s a new stadium!”
“The situation makes you angry. How can it not?”
Klopp has described the problems regarding player ‘welfare’, with Premier League released from clubs just a week before and returning six days after the final, as “so clear”.
“I hate this subject. These problems were so clear – so clear! – and nobody mentioned [player welfare] until three weeks before the World Cup. Nobody cares about [managers and players] and how we feel. The players who get injured and cannot play, it is a disaster. But how can we change that now?”