France-based Nigerian journalist Babatunde Ojora went head on with Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp on calling Africa Cup of Nation ‘a little tournament in Africa’ in a pre-match conference of UCL clash between Liverpool and FC Porto.
It will be recalled the former Borussia Dortmund manager referred the biggest football competition in Africa ‘a little tournament’, this didn’t go down well with some journalist and fans who hit back at the German tactician.
In an interview, Babatunde Ojora CEO of Ojbsports demanded an apology from Jurgen Klopp after making those damning remarks about AFCON, in response Klopp fumed at the interpretation of his comments, saying that was not what he meant.
Here was how it unfolded:
“Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately called the Africa Cup of Nations a ‘little tournament,’” journalist, Ojora Babatunde, began.
“I think it’s an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people on the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology.”
Klopp was clearly taken aback by the inquest but gave a reasonable explanation.
“I didn’t mean it like that, come on,” Klopp said. “So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a ‘little tournament’ or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all.
“What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now.
“‘I said ‘oh there’s a little tournament in January’ and I didn’t mean a little tournament, I was just saying it’s still a tournament, it’s ironic. It’s still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament…”
But the reporter wasn’t finished there.
“But you wouldn’t say that in Europe, you wouldn’t say a ‘little tournament in Europe…'” Babatunde snapped back.
“I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time,” Klopp replied.
This isn’t the first time something like this will happen between Klopp and Ojora.