Journalist Marcel Reif has criticised Jurgen Klopp for his “indecent” treatment of Felix Brych, who officiated Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The Reds’ boss had accused his compatriot of unfairness after failing to notice a foul on Sadio Mane in the build-up to the La Liga giants’ second goal of the game.
“If it wasn’t the saintly Klopp with his reputation and standing, then you could also imagine that they would say: ‘we won’t let that pass’,” the journalist told BILD (via Sport Witness).
“To impute personal motives to a referee to whistle or not to whistle things is a strong thing, but what Klopp makes of it afterwards is indecent.
“There is a limit, and he hasn’t just been a coach since last year.
“No coach likes to lose, yet winning and losing is part of it, as far as I know – and it’s also about dealing with each other in a decent way.”
In fairness to Klopp, he didn’t actually say anything too incriminating with regard to his fellow countryman.
As far as attributing “personal motives” to Brych, an off-the-cuff comment motivated by frustration (“was it something personal?”) hardly qualifies as “indecent”.
In hindsight, could the German have calmly accepted the result and moved on without further comment? Yes, of course. But these are high stakes – particularly so in consideration of the financial ramifications of COVID-19.
It doesn’t matter who the manager is; imperfect officiating will always rankle, though we’ll hope to progress through to the semi-finals courtesy of a brilliant performance next week, with the referee’s involvement an afterthought.