'Not fair' to expect political statements from footballers, Jurgen Klopp says

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told Sky News it is "not fair" to expect political statements from players, ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Speaking at a ceremony where he received the Freedom of Liverpool award, Klopp said it "was absolutely fine" and a "good thing" for England captain Harry Kane to go through with a decision to wear an armband in support of LGBT+ rights.

But he added: "I don't like that we expect [the players] now to do something. They go there to play football.

"It's not about this generation's players to say now that 'we don't go, or we don't do that'.

"The decision [to hold the tournament in Qatar] was made by other people, and if you want to criticise anybody, criticise the people who made the decision."

There have been calls by advocacy groups for players to engage in debate about the host nation's record on human rights, alleged mistreatment of migrant workers and legal prohibition of same-sex relationships.

Klopp, who is German, is the only foreign national to be given the freedom of the city apart from Nelson Mandela.

The 55-year-old became Liverpool manager in 2015.

Under him, the club has won the Champions League, the Premier League and the FA Cup.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Roy Gladden said Klopp had the traits of a "true Scouser".

He commended him for his response to scenes outside the Stade de France in Paris ahead of the Champions League final this year when fans were tear-gassed.

Mr Gladden said: "His actions lifted the spirits of many thousands who had been treated in such a violent and loathsome way.

"I promise him it will be a long time before this is forgotten."

Former Liverpool manager Sir Kenny Dalglish spoke about the impact the club's success under Klopp has had on the city.

At the end of his speech, Sir Kenny said: "I'd just like to say, Jurgen, I know you won't have understood a word that I have said to you.

"Being a Liverpool fan and being fortunate enough to work at the club, danke schon."

A video was played showing messages of congratulations from players and staff at the club.

Captain Jordan Henderson said: "I've been told if I get any car park fines you're the man I need to come to."