Klopp slams ‘irresponsible’ decision over Europa final venue

Joe Williams
Baku Olympic Stadium

Jurgen Klopp thinks UEFA’s decision to stage the Europa League final at Baku’s Olympic Stadium is “irresponsible”.

Klopp questioned the decision to host the final in Baku in Azerbaijan, a 3,000-mile trip for Arsenal and Chelsea.

“I think going to Baku, that’s really funny for a European final,” Klopp said.

“These guys who make the decisions I don’t know what they have for breakfast really.

“How can you do it? Last year we go to Kiev which is a wonderful city but that a Russian team, or one from that part of the world, will be involved is not really likely.

“You go there and now Madrid has to prepare for 200,000 English fans. Baku I have no clue how to get there or if there is any regular flight at all.

“In these decisions people must be a much more sensible and reasonable. It is irresponsible.”

Klopp has chosen to criticise UEFA too for their planning after two English teams reached the Champions League final, due to be played just five days before the national team’s involvement in the Nations League.

His Liverpool side will face Tottenham in Madrid on June 1, with Gareth Southgate’s team set to play Holland in Portugal on June 6.

“We play the Champions League final on June 1 and then on June 6 there is a wonderful tournament called the Nations League,” he said.

“Everyone looked at me when I said it was not such a good idea and now ‘Whoops’, it’s a surprise two English teams are in the Champions League final.

“If you don’t learn to deal with our players in a better way competition-wise then it is the only chance to kill this wonderful game because without the players it is not a good one.

“It’s not Gareth’s fault but planning something like this and being surprised two top teams are in the Champions League final and a lot of players in these teams are involved in the Nations League – that is interesting planning.

“If we planned like this we would be completely surprised every weekend that there is another Premier League game. Thank God we are not.”