The transparency offered up by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp regarding a recent Covid-19 ‘outbreak’ at the club could culminate in his side being heavily punished by the Football League.
The subject of Covid-19 has of course taken its place front and centre in the headlines at Anfield over the course of the last week.
This comes after Liverpool’s scheduled Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg meeting with Premier League rivals Arsenal was postponed, owing to an alleged outbreak in the club’s camp.
Our Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg fixture with Arsenal on Thursday has been postponed.
We would like to place on record our thanks to the EFL and Arsenal for their understanding, as well as supporters of both clubs, as we continue to navigate through this challenging period.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 5, 2022
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s FA Cup meeting with Shrewsbury on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp was therefore unsurprisingly drawn on the latest on his squad’s wellbeing.
And the German went on to reveal that, in fact, only one member of the Reds’ playing staff, in the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold, had since been identified as a true positive case.
This came with all of the other Covid cases originally reported by the club having turned out to be ‘false positives’:
Klopp: “We thought we had a proper outbreak last week and it showed up we had a lot of false positives actually, but the rule are like they are. The false positives couldn’t play today. We had to make that decision. Only real positive was Trent. Tough week.”
— Paul Gorst (@ptgorst) January 9, 2022
Punishment on the cards?
As alluded to above, though, Klopp’s transparency in providing an insight into the situation on Merseyside could yet prove altogether costly when it comes to his side’s hopes of Carabao Cup glory.
This comes amid confirmation on the part of reliable outlet The Athletic that Liverpool are under very real threat of an investigation being opened into the Covid situation at the club.
It is understood that complaints have been lodged on the part of a number of EFL clubs, who have demanded clarification regarding Klopp’s false positive claims, after seeing their own requests to have fixtures rescheduled knocked back:
‘Confused clubs want clarity over exactly when Liverpool found out this information, as if it was before the Arsenal match, there is a chance the fixture could have proceeded as planned.’
Significantly, it is added that, if Liverpool are found guilty of having had their meeting with Arsenal postponed without ‘just cause’, they could be in line for a ‘severe punishment’.
Though it is not hinted at in The Athletic’s report, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Klopp and co. would be forced to forfeit their Carabao Cup tie (or at least the first-leg), if found to have knowingly deceived the EFL.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) January 10, 2022
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This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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