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

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.”


Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

Updated 15 September 2019

Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

  • Tokyo is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games
  • Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games

TOKYO: The mayor of a town in northeastern Japan that will host Olympic soccer games says his city has received no funding from the central government that has promised to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help in the reconstruction of the region.

The Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers are hoping to use the Olympics to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several Olympic events, including soccer and baseball, will be held in northeastern Japan.

But with less than a year to go before the opening ceremony, Yutaka Kumagai, the mayor of Rifu in Miyagi Prefecture, says his city has seen no funding from the central government.

“There is no help from the government, we don’t have any budget from them, none,” Kumagai said on Saturday. “Tokyo 2020 is said to be a symbol of the reconstruction but when it comes to the budget, we don’t have any budget from the Olympic games here in Rifu.”

Kumagai made the comments during a media tour of Miyagi Stadium, a 49,000-seat facility in Rifu that will host men’s and women’s football at the 2020 Olympics.

About 50,000 people are still displaced in the Tohoku region as of August, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Yoshiaki Suda, the mayor of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, concurred with Kumagai. Like Rifu, Onagawa is a coastal city that sustained heavy destruction.

“We haven’t received any subsidy, even one yen, from the central government,” Suda said. “Whatever we do for the venues, for the hospitality for the Olympics, we have to do ourselves.”

Some media reports have made the claim that the Olympics have hampered the reconstruction efforts, taking workers away from the region to help with construction in Tokyo.

Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake offshore caused a tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami heavily damaged coastal neighborhoods in northeastern Japan and took more than 18,000 lives.

Tokyo, which projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013, is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games.

A group of anti-Olympic activists, many from outside Japan, have held small protests and other events this summer under the Japanese title “Han-gorin no Kai” — which translates roughly to No Olympics. They oppose Olympic spending, which they say cuts into budgets for housing and environmental issues.

They also call for more money to rebuild Fukushima prefecture located northeast of Tokyo. Organizers say Fukushima is a main focus of the Olympics, staging baseball, softball and soccer games there to persuade the world the area is safe.

Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games. In August, Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to quit earlier this year when he was implicated in a vote-buying scheme to land the games. He has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged he signed off on about $2 million that French investigators allege went to buy votes.