Klopp voices fears over internationals as virus spikes


London (AFP) – Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp said on Friday he is concerned about the number of his players travelling across the world to represent their national teams in the coming weeks as coronavirus infections continue to soar.

The Reds’ Brazilian trio of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have been called up for the Selecao’s first two World Cup qualifiers this month — at home to Bolivia and away to Peru.

A host of other players will disperse across Europe for Euro 2020 qualifiers, Nations League fixtures and friendlies.

“I am slightly concerned because it is difficult to get in contact with all FAs (football associations) all over the world,” said Klopp on Friday.

“I understand the demands on all FAs, UEFA, FIFA, I know how difficult the situation is for everybody. But it is just not exactly perfect the information we get from some FAs.” 

Klopp also turned on the Premier League and TV broadcasters for a schedule that could see many of his players return on Friday, October 16, before facing Everton a day later. No date or kick-off time has yet been set for the Merseyside derby.

“The Premier League and TV broadcasters give us a challenge on top because they just don’t care if our players play on (Tuesday) night in Peru. They still think it is a good idea to play on Saturday pretty early,” added Klopp.

“In these moments as a club we are completely alone. You have to make sure you bring the players home in the quickest and the most safe (way) because nobody helps you. It’s not like the FA says ‘we pay the private plane’.

“Then they arrive on Friday, then we have to make the test and see if we get the result before the Saturday, so it is really tricky. We try everything to make it as safe as possible, but from time to time a little bit more help would not be bad.”

Liverpool are already missing one star player due to a coronavirus infection for Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa as new signing Thiago Alcantara tested positive earlier this week.

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