‘Must be a reason’ – Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool fans booing national anthem

Jurgen Klopp has produced a typically measured response to criticism of Liverpool fans booing the national anthem before the FA Cup final.

The Reds secured their second trophy of the season on Saturday afternoon, seeing off Chelsea via a nerve-shredding penalty shootout.

It was the glorious latest chapter in a memorable season, but not everything about the day was deemed positive when it came to Liverpool.

There was a hysterical reaction from certain publications after the fans inside the stadium booed the national anthem – as well as traditional hymn Abide With Me – prior to kickoff.

It has led to criticism from rival fans, journalists and newspapers alike, with many expectant to hear what Klopp had to say on the matter.

“Of course I have thoughts, but in these situations, it’s best to ask the question: ‘why does this happen?’,” he told reporters on Monday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 14, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Cup Final between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I know our people that well that they wouldn’t do it if there was no reason for it.

“I’m not here long enough to understand the reason for it – it’s something historical and probably a question you (the media) can answer much better than I ever could.

“Our fans – and I know some fans from other clubs see this slightly differently – are wonderful people.

“[They are] really smart, go through lows, go through highs, suffer together.

“They wouldn’t do it if there was not a reason, that’s what I know. Maybe we should ask this question.”

Liverpool really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect manager when Klopp walked through the door in October 2015, proving to be every bit a modern-day Bill Shankly.

He respects everything to do with the club, the city itself and the political stance of most fans, and this was a fantastic response to a potentially awkward question.

The tribal nature of modern football means that some rival supporters will forever lambast Liverpool fans for this behaviour, but as Klopp understands, there is a clear motive.

A bit of research into Liverpool’s history as a city, its treatment and a feeling of detachment from the rest of the country, would make people understand the situation far better.

This has been happening for decades, so the response has seemed particularly odd, but Klopp has helped extinguish the flames.