Jurgen Klopp has hit out at the Football Association for the travel chaos facing Liverpool and Manchester City fans ahead of their FA Cup semi-final.
Thousands of supporters have been left facing long and complicated journeys to Wembley for the tie, after it emerged that there were no direct trains to London from either Liverpool or Manchester due to scheduled engineering works over the Easter weekend.
It has since been revealed that the FA knew of the potential issue as far back as 2019, but despite calls from supporters groups, a venue change was not considered, with the game going ahead as planned at Wembley on Saturday April 16.
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What’s been said?
Asked about the issue, and the problems facing fans, Klopp was vociferous in his criticism.
“Oh, this wonderful issue where there are no trains?” he said. “It’s one of the most ridiculous stories I ever heard.
“I heard that they knew for 18 months [about the planned engineering works], so I’m not sure what the FA thought, that no club from the FA would get to the semi-final?
“I really can’t believe, with all the information that is out there, that things like this could happen.
“And now I heard that the FA will put some coaches on the road. What is it usually to London, four-and-a-half hours? Now it will be 12, probably, because all the coaches will be going in the same direction.
“It makes no sense. Great decision!”
Could the FA Cup semi final have been played on a different day?
Klopp went on to suggest that the Liverpool vs Manchester City semi-final could have been played a week earlier, with the potentially-decisive Premier League clash between the two sides at the Etihad Stadium moved to Easter weekend.
He said: “I’m not sure when they have to decide when the semi-finals are, but there is another weekend between the Champions League [quarter-final] games, no?
“That would be funny, if we moved the City game for the City game! But at least then all fans could have gone to Wembley. Now they can’t, or it is much more difficult.”
He added: “But on the other hand, how I know our people, and they will find a way. I’m just really not happy that somebody made it so complicated for them.
“It should be a lot easier to see your football team in a semi final.”