Liverpool’s Klopp condemns ‘disgusting’ Salah abuse ahead of Chelsea clash

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah during the warm up before the Champions League quarter-final first-leg game between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield. (Reuters)
Updated 12 April 2019
0

Liverpool’s Klopp condemns ‘disgusting’ Salah abuse ahead of Chelsea clash

  • A video circulated on social media ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League match at Slavia Prague this week showed a group of six supporters chanting ‘Salah is a bomber’
  • Egypt forward Salah, who played for Chelsea before joining Roma in 2016, is a practicing Muslim and has previously faced abuse about his religion

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has condemned “disgusting” racist abuse aimed at Mohamed Salah and called for lifetime bans for the Chelsea fans accused of taunting the Liverpool star.
A video circulated on social media ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League match at Slavia Prague this week showed a group of six supporters chanting “Salah is a bomber” repeatedly.
Egypt forward Salah, who played for Chelsea before joining Roma in 2016, is a practicing Muslim and has previously faced abuse about his religion.
Chelsea’s security staff identified three people in the widely shared video and denied that trio entry to Thursday’s clash in Prague.
It is understood that the remaining three people in the video did not attempt to enter Slavia’s Sinobo Stadium for Chelsea’s 1-0 quarter-final first-leg victory.
Liverpool said the video showed “vile discriminatory chants” and was “dangerous and disturbing,” while Chelsea issued a statement pledging to use all available punishments against those involved.
The incident is especially sensitive as Liverpool host Chelsea on Sunday in a match with huge implications in the Premier League title race and the battle to finish in the top four.
Asked about the latest incident of racism in football this season, Klopp made it clear the behavior should not be tolerated.
“It’s disgusting. Another example of something which should not happen. We should not see it as a Chelsea or Liverpool thing,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“If you do something like that you should not be able to enter a stadium again, from my point of view, for life,” he added.
Four Chelsea supporters were suspended by the club for allegedly abusing Raheem Sterling during Manchester City’s defeat at Stamford Bridge on December 8.
Chelsea also criticized anti-Semitic chanting by Blues fans during the club’s 2-2 Europa League draw at Hungarian side MOL Vidi on December 13.
Klopp believes life bans from stadiums are the only appropriate punishment for anyone found guilty of racism.
“The stronger the reaction from all of us, the more it will help to avoid things like this in the future,” he said.
The German manager believes football authorities, clubs and players must unite with one voice to condemn such actions and make a stand together.
“It is a complete misunderstanding of how life should be — all parts of racism are that some people think they are more worthy or valuable than others and that’s the biggest misunderstanding in the world out there,” he said.
“Football is the best example of how people from different races can work together brilliantly.
“Go into any dressing room in the world and you see players sitting next to each other, and nobody cares where you come from or who your parents are.
“Because football is very public we talk a lot about this so I think we pretty much have a strong voice and we have to use that strong voice and say altogether things like this are not allowed to happen again.”


Dutch cap Europe’s World Cup dominance by ousting Japan

Updated 26 June 2019
0

Dutch cap Europe’s World Cup dominance by ousting Japan

  • The reigning European champions will need to maintain that composure as they prepare for a meeting with Italy

RENNES, France: Tears were still flowing from Saki Kumagai’s eyes more than 30 minutes later.
With victorious Dutch rivals passing her on the way out of the stadium, Japan’s captain seemed to find solace in speaking about the penalty long after it cost her team a place in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup.
With Tuesday night’s game entering the 90th minute locked at 1-1, Kumagai’s outstretched left arm blocked the shot Vivianne Miedema had aimed into the right side of the net.
“It had my hand for sure,” Kumagai said. “It’s difficult to accept but it’s also sad. I know that is football.”
Referee Melissa Borjas pointed to the penalty spot and Lieke Martens netted her second goal of the game in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 victory that sent the Netherlands into the quarterfinals for the first time.
“We have made history,” Martens said. “I’m not usually taking the penalties but I felt really good this game. I asked Sherida Spitse if I could take it and she gave it directly to me and I felt quite relaxed about it.”
The reigning European champions will need to maintain that composure as they prepare for a meeting with Italy on Saturday after going one stage further than their Women’s World Cup debut four years ago.
“We were standing in the circle after the match and we were so happy, yelling at each other,” Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman said. “We were saying, ‘Let’s continue writing history.’“
It is journey’s end for Japan, which won the 2011 tournament and was the runner-up four years later.
The strength of the second-half display counted for nothing.
As befitting a meeting of the Asian and European champions, the game produced some of the slickest action of the World Cup. A backheel flick set up Martens to send the Dutch in front in the 17th minute and Yui Hasegawa equalized in the 43rd to complete a slick passing move.
But the post, crossbar and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal thwarted Japan’s pursuit of a winning goal.
“I think we lacked the clinical edge,” Japan coach Asako Takakura said. “We have to accept the result, we’re defeated, we’re very disappointed and for all the players I feel very sorry for them and frustrated.”
With the last Asian team eliminated, the Women’s World Cup will have a record seven European teams in the quarterfinals. Norway and England meet in Le Havre on Thursday and France takes on the United States the following night. After the Netherlands plays Italy on Saturday, Germany and Sweden will meet.
“It’s really tough to be here,” Netherlands forward Miedema said. “Sometimes it kind of feels like a Euros.”
That is a title already won by this team, thanks to Miedema’s goals in the final two years ago on home soil.
The fans won’t have far to travel for the World Cup quarterfinal, with Valenciennes around two hours’ drive from the Netherlands.
It will be another chance for the orange-clad fans who danced and sang their way in a convoy to the stadium on Tuesday to stamp their mark on this tournament.
They were certainly given a game to savor, and an audacious opening goal.
Martens flicked in the opener after evading her marker to meet a corner and send the ball through the legs of Yuika Sugasawa into the net.
Sugasawa had a quick chance to tie, only to hit the post. But Japan did equalize by completing an intricate move.
Hina Sugita squared across the penalty area to Yuika Sugasawa, who passed back to Mana Iwabuchi on the edge of the penalty area. After holding off Jackie Groenen on the turn, Iwabuchi slipped the ball through to Hasegawa, who was free to delicately dink a shot over Van Veenendaal into the corner of the net.
It was some way to make the most of a first shot on target for a team that failed to score in two of its three group stage games.
But parity nearly didn’t last long.
Miedema received the ball from Shanice van de Sanden but with only Ayaka Yamashita to beat struck straight at the Japan goalkeeper.
Van Veenendaal came to the rescue of the Dutch in the second half by denying Emi Nakajima as Japan chased the winner.
“Japan is a world class team and you saw that today,” Miedema said. “In the second half you can see they have loads of quality on the pitch.”