Jurgen Klopp will take legal action against Manchester City’s owners after being accused of xenophobia due to comments he made before Liverpool’s clash with City at the weekend.
Liverpool beat City 1-0 at Anfield on Sunday in a heated affair which saw Klopp shown a red card for screaming at an assistant referee, he has since been charged with improper behaviour by the FA.
Before the game Klopp had made comments about the Reds having an impossible task in competing with the spending power of Man City and other football super-powers, saying: ‘There are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially,’ referencing the three teams who have backing from Gulf states – PSG and Newcastle.
The Times claimed that City felt Klopp had inflamed tensions ahead of the game, during which Pep Guardiola was pelted with coins from supporters.
Accusations of xenophobia also emerged from the City camp but Klopp is baffled by that claim, with the Telegraph reporting that Liverpool will take legal action.
At suggestions that his comments could have been seen as xenophobic, Klopp said: ‘I don’t feel, in this specific case, I don’t feel it at all. I know myself. And you cannot hit with something which is miles away from my personality.
‘If I was – I cannot remember the word, wow! – like this I would hate it. I would hate myself for being like this.
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‘I have said a lot of times things that were a little bit open for misunderstanding. I know that. It was not intentional, just sometimes you say things and you think, “Oh my God! It can be interpreted like this?” But this is not one of these moments. Absolutely.’
Klopp has otherwise been very complimentary about City, Guardiola and Erling Haaland, and believes any offence taken would have been a misunderstanding.
‘That’s the life of people who speak in public,’ he said. ‘So it’s not the first time that I’ve been misunderstood. I know what I thought when I said it. If somebody misunderstands that – or wants to misunderstand that – I cannot change that.
‘I have to be careful, I’ve known that since years ago. I’m not always careful, I realise that as well, from time to time – I just answer and say what I think.
‘I will try to do that [say what I think] in the future as well because usually it’s never my aim to blame anybody or whatever, just talk about things – that I think are not that important in life, actually.
‘But I think I say what I know about it, or how I judge it, or how I see it. So that’s it, I cannot change that. Nothing the things were made of [by Manchester City] were my intention, to be honest.’