The people of Liverpool were subjected to some horrifying chants from the away end during the Reds’ 1-0 win over Manchester City at the weekend.
The Sky Blues rejected an opportunity to stand arm-in-arm with the Reds in calling out the harmful behaviour of a number of their fans, accusing Jurgen Klopp of having made ‘borderline xenophobic’ comments, as reported by The Times.
Rory Smith and Tariq Panja of the New York Times both condemned the club’s actions on Twitter with the latter describing it as ‘a dangerous road to go down’.
Just so we’re clear: if an opposition football manager says something you don’t like about your team, you can now say or sing whatever you like, and the news media will apparently present this logic absolutely uncontested.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) October 17, 2022
Suggesting in a background briefing that something is xenophobic to chill a criticism is a dangerous road to go down. It hurts discussion and calling out actual xenophobia. If the feeling is so strong, why sling out such an incendiary allegation anonymously?
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) October 17, 2022
It’s difficult to understand the incumbent champion’s behaviour given that the former Borussia Dortmund boss’ comments were critiquing the financial flexibility on offer for three of the globe’s top outfits.
An attempt to shift the conversation into murky waters will have no doubt infuriated Anfield chiefs – and rightly so.
There’s absolutely no excuse for Manchester City’s decision-making here and we hope the backlash will inspire a more fitting response to the awful behaviour on display at the weekend.