Klopp upset with new Afcon date

English Premier League

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has expressed his unhappiness at the date being changed for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The African football governing body, CAF, confirmed on Thursday that the tournament will revert back to the January-Febuary dates next year.

As a result, a number of African stars plying their trade in Europe will miss at least five weeks of club action due to participation at the 2021 Afcon.

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"I couldn't respect Africa Cup of Nations more than I do, I like it, I've watched it a lot. Difficult circumstances a lot of times," Klopp said, as per Liverpool Echo.

"But it's an obvious problem playing it in the middle of the season. But it's their winter and I get that. A general problem is FIFA plays a tournament in 2021 a week or so after the Africa Cup of Nations would have started. I mentioned that in past.

"It is another tournament, there are too many of them. Another thing is it doesn't help African players. We won't sell Naby (Keita), Mo (Mohamed Salah) or Sadio (Mane) because of it but if we bring someone in, it affects the decision. Normal process. We have to think about that..."

Klopp continued: "For us, it's a catastrophe," the former Borussia Dortmund boss added.

"If we say he (African players) can't go, he's suspended. How can the club who pay his salary not decide? If he's injured and we say he cannot play for us, we have to send him to Africa so they can have a look.

"We don't have any say. We just plan the route. These are all things that should not be like this. I speak about it now and no one will listen. The moaner from Liverpool again. It's a complete waste of time.

"As long as nothing changes, I will keep saying it. It's about the players, not me."

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