Jurgen Klopp prepared to call Liverpool players off over racist incidents

Maurizio Sarri believes a firm rule allowing players to leave the pitch amid abuse should be introduced

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are two points clear at the top of the Premier League 2:54
Jurgen Klopp would be prepared to take his Liverpool team off the field if they were subjected to racist abuse but is concerned that gives too much power to 'three or four idiots'

Jurgen Klopp says he is prepared to call his Liverpool players off if large groups of fans are racially abusing them, but says it should be down to match officials.

The Liverpool manager said he "could not believe" England players were subject to racist abuse when he watched Gareth Southgate's side beat Montenegro 5-1 this week.

England reported the incident after Danny Rose informed staff of chants from the crowd and UEFA are investigating, with European football's governing body calling the events a "disaster".

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Klopp believes stopping matches for a minority would give "too much power for one or two idiots", but would be willing to lead his players off if abuse escalated.

"If it's the whole stand, I would do it, 100 per cent," said Klopp, whose Liverpool side will look to keep their place at the top of the Premier League when they play Tottenham on Sunday.

"But it's too much power for one or two idiots. We have to find ways to punish these incidents.

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"It's not that the coaches should do that - match officials - because if I take the players off and they say it was not that serious, you lose the game, our job is to win football games.

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"But if a whole stand was doing it then it's completely different."

The Football Association has called on UEFA and FIFA to devise a structured campaign on dealing with racist abuse in stadiums.

Sterling Raheem Montenegro England 2:16
Raheem Sterling called for stadium bans after England players were subjected to racist abuse in Montenegro.

Klopp admits he cannot fully appreciate what black players have to go through but admits strong action has to be taken.

Former Liverpool player Raheem Sterling - who has previously spoken out against racism this season - called for a stadium ban following the abuse, questioning what impact fines have.

The regulations of European football's governing body state that if supporters engage in racist behaviour then "the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure".

Article 14 also states that additional disciplinary measures can be imposed depending on the situation, while "disciplinary measures may be combined with specific directives aimed at tackling such conduct".

Klopp added: "It's very difficult for me to really feel the situation of Raheem or Rose or other players, of our players who face something like that, because I never had a situation like that.

"Whatever I could do, I would do. We have to stop games, we have to do everything.

"I understand that Gareth didn't do it and didn't say, 'Come on, off the pitch', but we have to make clear that's not allowed and that's not possible.

"Each punishment from my point of view is pretty much allowed. There were a couple of incidents in the last few weeks, not only racism but other silly situations - running on the pitch, stuff like that.

"It's not fun and we have to make clear it's not fun, so stop it."

Callum Hudson-Odoi in action on his senior England debut 0:49
Maurizio Sarri has admitted he has not spoken to Callum Hudson-Odoi about being abused by Montenegro fans

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri echoed Klopp's belief that players should be able to leave the pitch if they are subjected to racist abuse, and called on authorities to introduce a rule allowing them to do.

"We need a rule, I think, for all football. A rule that can permit us to stop the match," he said.

"In every country, there are some stupid people. It's a big problem. I think we need to do something different. Probably it's right to stop the match for 10 minutes in the first situation."

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