Liverpool keeper Alisson out for ‘next few weeks,’ says Klopp

Liverpool's Alisson reacts after sustaining an injury during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City. (Reuters)
Updated 13 August 2019

Liverpool keeper Alisson out for ‘next few weeks,’ says Klopp

  • Klopp does not expect the 26-year-old Brazil international to be available for several weeks

LONDON: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been ruled out for “the next few weeks” by boss Jurgen Klopp after suffering a calf injury in the 4-1 win over Norwich.

Alisson limped off in the first half of Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Anfield on Friday.

Klopp revealed on Monday that he does not expect the 26-year-old Brazil international to be available for several weeks.

“Not too cool. It’s a calf injury which takes him obviously out for a while,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “I don’t want to make now an exact prognosis on when he will be back but it will not be Wednesday for sure, so now then we have to see. It takes a while, it takes a couple weeks for sure, and we have to see.

“I saw already like ‘six weeks’ and stuff like this, but Ali was not a lot injured in his career so I would like to wait a little bit to see how he develops in that process now, but he is not in for the next few weeks.”

Alisson was replaced by experienced Spaniard Adrian against Norwich. The former West Ham keeper, who joined on a free transfer last week, is likely to keep his place for Liverpool’s European Super Cup date with Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Third-choice Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher is not fully fit after a broken wrist, so the club are reportedly considering signing 35-year-old former Middlesbrough player Andy Lonergan on a free transfer.

Lonergan was part of Liverpool’s pre-season tour as cover for their other keepers.

The European champions return to domestic action at Southampton on Saturday.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, speaking after the Norwich game, insisted Adrian will prove a quality deputy for Alisson.

“His experience is the main thing, he knows what he is doing. He’s played a load of games, so he knows what it is about,” Alexander-Arnold said.

“Obviously when a keeper has to come off, it’s never too promising, so, yes, I think everyone needs to get their head around the fact that he probably will be our keeper for the next few weeks and if so, then we have to live with that, embrace that and I’m sure he will learn from us.

“We will be able to make good connections with him and I think a lot of the lads have made bonds with him already because he’s such a good lad off the pitch.”


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.