'I am not the Pope of football' - Klopp calls for more player protection amid Premier League rule changes

Jurgen Klopp says the Premier League must do more to protect players following the recent rule changes in the division.

Referees have been told to avoid giving fouls for "trivial offences" this season as the Premier League aims to let games flow instead of being interrupted constantly.

Klopp was concerned by some of the challenges that avoided punishment during his side's 2-0 win against Burnley on Saturday, as no yellow cards were issued despite 18 fouls being given in the match. 

What has been said?

The Reds manager believes the recent changes to the rules put players at risk but stopped short of making specific recommendations. 

"That was a proper test today and, honestly, I love football, I love all these challenges, all these kind of things, yes, but we came from protecting the players slightly more to letting the game all flow," he said in a press conference.

"There is a grey area in between which for sure we will have to adapt again during the season because, just now, letting the game run doesn’t sound like it makes too much sense. We still need to talk about different things."

He added: "I am not the Pope of football or whatever or any kind of priest who wants to tell the people what to do, really not.

"You might remember it, when we started to talk about the elbow in the challenge, all of a sudden all challenges in the air, we heard the whistle.

"It happened then that players started feeling something in the face even when nothing touched them because it helped always to do this… now there is a message, like a headline: ‘let the game flow’.

"It started with the penalties, ‘no soft penalties anymore’, which is absolutely fine. But we cannot forget that we have to protect the players as well and the challenges in the air. I don’t say they are all fouls, for sure not, most of the time it is a clear challenge but if you do these kind of things constantly… There are different ways to play football, obviously, that’s all fine, there were just a few harsh situations.

"We are early in the season and I don’t want to open already the box of Pandora, I just think we have to speak about these kind of things because the intensity of the season didn’t even start."

Liverpool off to perfect start

Thanks to goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane, the Anfield side have now won both of their matches in the Premier League this season, having beaten Norwich the previous week.

Klopp's team will now turn their attention to a headline tie with Champions League winners Chelsea next week before the squad breaks up for the upcoming international matches.

Liverpool will then return to action on September 12 when they take on Leeds at Elland Road.

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