The duo Mutiu Adepoju and John Fashanu are the latest to hit out at Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, after he branded the Africa Cup of Nations tournament as a “little tournament”.
Liverpool are set to lose Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane for the month-long tournament, which runs from January 9 to February 6 in 2022 as all the players will be representing their countries Egypt, Guinea, and Senegal respectively.
The Reds convincingly dispatched Arsenal 4-0 at the Anfield Stadium over the weekend and the German expressed his frustrations over losing some of his key players in the winter.
“In January, there’s a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say, and I think Asia is playing games, too – South America as well, great, can’t wait,” the coach had said on Saturday.
However, 1994 AFCON winner, Adepoju slammed the Liverpool manager for such a comment.
“That is his own opinion and that is to his own selfish interest because he doesn’t want to lose some of his players,” Adepoju said. “How will he feel if we say that the European competition is a little tournament?
“From the way I see it he said it because he doesn’t want to lose his key players and I don’t think one should even pay much attention to him.”
Former England player of Nigeria descent, Fashanu also hit out at the Liverpool boss.
“This is a big slap on black players around the world. I am very disappointed that somebody who we rated as highly as we did can literarily drip that out with his silly mouth. It is an insult to us all and he owes the continent an apology and he also owes every black football man and woman an apology, to belittle us that way is very dangerous.
“Some black footballers have lost their lives fighting for equality and this man just put us right back by saying our competition means nothing.
“It is a disgrace that came out of his mouth because he knows the situation with racism and how we’ve lost lives because of things like this.”