Jurgen Klopp baffled by BBC “s***storm” – backing Gary Lineker’s message

Jurgen Klopp “cannot see any reason” why Gary Lineker should have been removed from BBC duties for commenting in favour of human rights.

On Friday, the situation around Lineker’s position with the BBC came to a head as it emerged that he had been asked to temporarily step down from presenting Match of the Day.

This came after the 62-year-old fiercely opposed the Tory government’s new anti-refugee proposals, and it led to a number of other presenters, commentators and pundits from refusing to work on this weekend’s coverage.

As a result, there was no live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live nor Football Focus, while Match of the Day is set to air with no analysis and with commentary from the world feed.

Asked about the situation in his press conference after Liverpool lost 1-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday, Klopp admitted he was baffled by the “shitstorm” it created.

“How I understand it, I cannot see any reason why you would ask somebody to step back for saying that. I can’t,” he told reporters.

“I’m not sure if that’s a language issue or not, but I can find it.

“But that’s the world we are living in. Everybody is so concerned about doing the things in the right manner, saying the right stuff to everybody.

“If you don’t do that, then you create a shitstorm – which we didn’t have when we were young. It’s a really difficult world to live in.

“But if I understand it right, this is about a message, an opinion, about human rights and that should be possible to say.

“What I don’t understand is why everybody goes on Twitter and says something.

“If somebody asks you about your opinion, then you can say your opinion, but I don’t understand the social media part of it.

“But I’m probably too old for that. So apart from that, no. If I got it right, there’s no reason [to punish Lineker], for me.”

Gary Lineker has been stood down by the BBC (Ian Walton/PA)

In the buildup to the weekend’s games, the PFA confirmed it would back players who refused their media obligations with the BBC, and Klopp was asked if he had turned down any post-match interviews.

“I’m not so much in the situation, to be honest. I didn’t do a BBC interview, did I?” he asked his press officer.

“It’s not about me now to show the BBC, it’s not that the guy with the BBC mic today is the bad person.

“I don’t know, I heard about the rules of the BBC, that it’s not allowed to have these kinds of opinions.

“Like I said, it’s a difficult world to live in, to fulfil all the expectations and rules – especially in public.

“But I cannot say more about it, I’m sorry.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil indicated via his press officer that he would accept an interview from the BBC if asked.