Klopp defends League Cup as UEFA chief suggests it should be axed

‘Everyone tells me how much it means… it is a very traditional competition’: Jurgen Klopp defends League Cup as UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin suggests it should be axed

  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has given his view on the League Cup competition 
  • Recently UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin suggested it should be axed
  • Klopp highlighted the traditional aspect of the cup, which began in 1960
  • West Ham boss David Moyes prefers the idea of a revamp rather than scrapping

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has called the League Cup ‘important’ while stressing ‘we have to work on a solution’ following calls from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to scrap the competition.

Ceferin told The Times on Thursday that it would be ‘better for everyone’ if England’s secondary knockout competition was taken off the fixture schedule to lighten the load of top players.

Ceferin’s call comes as FIFA prepares to launch an additional tournament in the summer of 2021 – a 24-team Club World Cup – and as his own organisation is understood to be in talks to endorse an expanded version of the pre-season International Champions Cup.

Jurgen Klopp has come out in defence of the League Cup after its value came under scrutiny

UEFA chief Alexander Ceferin suggested axing the cup to lighten the load of top players

The League Cup came into existence in 1960 but in recent years has tended to be seen as a competition where teams can try out young or fringe players.

In December, Liverpool fielded what was at that point the youngest starting XI in their history, overseen by then Under-23s boss Neil Critchley, as they lost 5-0 to Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-finals, while Klopp and his first-team players prepared for a Club World Cup match in Qatar the next day.

On Friday, Klopp said when asked about Ceferin’s comments: ‘I think we can do a lot of different stuff.

‘Everyone tells me in public how much it means. The League Cup is a very traditional competition in England so how can I say we should scrap it? From a financial point of view it is important for the Football League so how can we say it is not important, it is important so I really think we have to work on a solution.

The League Cup, branded the Carabao Cup, is typically where youngsters are blooded

‘Less games are already possible with little adaptations. So far, what I am happy about is people are really talking. We have to talk about it. The season is intense.

‘What I am even more concerned about is what happens between the last game of the season and the first game of the new season. That was always a natural moment when everyone had a break and that doesn’t happen.

‘The League Cup alone is not a solution but less games is still the target because you cannot carry on like this for long.

‘It is not for me to make a decision, the decision is to be made by other people and I am happy if they talk to each other – that would be the first time since I am in England. That’s good, big progress.’

West Ham manager David Moyes prefers the idea of a revamp rather than scrapping the competition altogether, and has proposed a ‘British Cup’ .

‘My opinion on it is I’ve always thought we should have included Scotland,’ Moyes said.

West Ham manager David Moyes prefers the idea of a revamp rather than scrapping the cup

‘I think it could do with a revamp, maybe there’s a way that then a certain amount of Premier League teams wouldn’t enter.

‘I understand the fixture pile-up and there are an awful lot of games for the top players. A lot who will be playing in the Euros and just off the back of playing long seasons, Saturday-Wednesday, and are then expected to start again in the Premier League with only two or three weeks’ break, so I don’t think that’s correct. The players are going to have no time off at all.

‘It’s in need of some way of being revamped. Call it the British Cup. A couple of teams from Northern Ireland, maybe two of the Welsh League clubs. That would give us something different.’

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