Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has questioned Uefa’s move to reschedule the Borussia Dortmund-Monaco tie to Wednesday night – just 24 hours after the German side were subject to a terrorist attack – arguing that the officials ‘who made the decision afterwards would not have played had they been on the bus’.
The former Dortmund coach did state, however, that he ‘100 per cent understands both sides’ to the argument.
The coach carrying the Dortmund team to Signal Iduna Park was hit by three explosions on Tuesday ahead of the side’s first-leg clash with Monaco in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Borussia Dortmund Team bus attack
The game was immediately cancelled but rescheduled for Wednesday night – a mere 24 hours after the attack first took place. Dortmund went on to lose 3-2 and head into next week’s second-leg meeting with a one-goal deficit to overturn.
The decision was widely condemned by the football community, as numerous pundits and high-profile figures questioned the move – and now former Dortmund boss Klopp has waded in on the debate.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to West Brom, Klopp expressed how “proud” he was of his old club for how they have handled the past 48 hours but suggested the game should not have gone ahead.
“I was really proud of Borussia Dortmund,” he said. “When they played the game they tried to give the best. I saw the faces of my former players and I saw the shock in their eyes and that was really, really hard.
Borussia Dortmund bus blasts injure player Marc Bartra
“I can 100 per cent understand both sides – it was difficult to find another date. I think everybody could understand if you couldn’t play it.
“It will take time to deal with it. I’m pretty sure the people who make the decision afterwards, if they had been in the bus they would not have played the game.
“If you are not in the bus you cannot imagine how it is exactly.
“I am like all the other football fans in the world, the only difference is I know all of them.”
Jurgen Klopp spent seven years at Dortmund as manager ()
Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel went further than Klopp and, speaking after the final whistle on Wednesday, complained that his side felt “completely ignored” over the rescheduling.
“We were informed by text message that Uefa was making this decision,” he told a news conference.
“A decision made in Switzerland that concerns us directly. We will not forget it. It is a very bad feeling.”
Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos added that the players felt as if they had been treated like “animals” by the decision to stage the game so soon after the attack.
Tuchel was not happy with the rescheduling ()
“They (Uefa) have to understand that we are not animals,” he told ESPN FC.
“We are people who have families, who have kids in the house. And we are not animals. I am happy that all the players are alive, and all the staff are alive.”
But Klopp has urged his former club to now put the incident behind them and move on together as they seek to return to normality.
The match was rescheduled for the evening after the bomb attack ()
“It’s difficult to speak about, but in the world a lot of difficult to understand things happen,” Klopp continued. “As human beings we all think about this but as long as we are not directly involved, it’s hard but life goes on.
“I see it like all in the world see it. We have to carry on. We will and we can. We can concentrate on football and training.
“We care about them, we think about them but we have to carry on.”