Jurgen Klopp believes more transparency over COVID-19 cases would be helpful as the Premier League heads into a hectic festive period.
Two games – Brighton and Hove Albion against Tottenham and Manchester United’s trip to Brentford – have been postponed in the past week due to coronavirus outbreaks at Spurs and United.
Spurs had 13 members of their camp contract the virus last week, while United shut their Carrington training ground on Monday after a number of positive results.
On Monday, the league announced 42 positive test results from players and club officials had been returned, a record for a single week since testing began.
The league’s 20 clubs have agreed to step up with extra measures in a bid to avoid further postponements, with daily testing introduced for all players and training ground staff.
Klopp is happy with the measures, but is confused as to why there cannot be more transparency when it comes to who has tested positive.
“In the Premier League, it would be helpful to understand exactly what it is. I don’t understand why we are not more open,” he said during a news conference on Wednesday.
“A lot of people catch COVID. If I catch it, hopefully not, I would be completely fine to say so. Why do we hide players, and nobody knows the number of players who have it. Come on, say, then everybody can understand why you are not able to play.
“I would prefer that but I’m not sure if that’s possible from a legal point of view, but it would be helpful. When we play Tottenham on Sunday, okay if they play tomorrow night we might have an idea but we have no idea currently of who can play or not.
“It’s different to usual preparations for games. It’s not the most important subject but it shows the information could be different, but I don’t know if it’s possible.
“We are all in the same situation as human beings, I don’t know why we should hide it. A bit more transparency would be helpful.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 13, 2021
Klopp, who revealed most of Liverpool’s squad have already had a third booster vaccination dose, was also asked if the vaccination status of players may come into play when deciding whether to sign a player in the future.
“Who knows what situation we will be in when we start signing players again,” he answered.
“The whole thing, the vaccination thing for me is a question of solidarity, loyalty and togetherness. We have the chance to help not only ourselves but others as well. There are not two possible answers, there is one answer, so you do it, that’s how I understand it.
“It’s not only the squad. Everybody who is working here at the training ground is at least double vaccinated and will get a booster as soon as possible. I really don’t know, don’t get me wrong, whatever I say now you could make the headlines of ‘Klopp will only sign vaccinated players’.
“I didn’t think about it. Not a second. If you sign a player you sign them for plenty of reasons. If that will be one of them, I don’t know yet.”
Reports on Wednesday also claimed the Africa Cup of Nations, planned to take place in Cameroon over January and February, may be postponed due to rising cases of the virus in parts of Europe and Africa, attributed to the Omicron variant.
Key players Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are due to appear in the tournament, but Klopp has received no word on whether it will go ahead.
“There’s nothing to say, the authorities have to decide,” he said.
“We don’t know when exactly [the players might go]. There will be a moment when the national coaches announce their plans. We try to be in the conversations but the decisions will be made elsewhere.”