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Klopp Hits Out At AFCON Date Change

After host nation Cameroon confirmed that the dates for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations would be moved, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp launched a passionate response against the decision.

Read: Liverpool Face Mane & Salah Crisis After AFCON Announcement

Klopp was speaking ahead of the Reds' Premier League clash against Manchester United when he was asked to comment on CAF's decision to play AFCON 2021 in January instead of over the June-July period originally planned. 

"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," the German manager replied, as reported by the 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..."

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Klopp later shared his view that there are too many tournaments in the football calendar, before lamenting the fact that he could lose Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to AFCON duty next season. 

"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."

Click through the gallery below to see Liverpool's transfer business in this January window thus far:

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