Jurgen Klopp has defended Liverpool fans’ right to boo the national anthem after their FA Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
Loud jeers were heard as “God Save the Queen” was sung, while Prince William was also jeered furiously as he met the players prior to kick off and after the match when he presented players with the trophy at the home of English football.
Ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League game against Southampton on Tuesday, Klopp told media on Monday “In this situation, it’s best to ask the question, why does it happen?”
“I know our people so well that they would not do it if there is not a reason for it. I have not been here long enough for sure to understand the reason. That’s for sure something historical and that’s probably a question you can answer much better than I can.
‘I know some from other clubs see it slightly different, but the majority of our fans are wonderful people, really smart. They understand, they go through lows and highs, suffer together. They wouldn’t do it if there was not a reason, that’s what I know.”
The booing of the national anthem was described as “dreadful” by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, while Conservative MP Karen Bradley said it was “unacceptable and disgraceful”.
The noise from the Liverpool end at Wembley was one of protest the British establishment. A slogan used by some fans read: “Scouse, not English.”
Klopp has aligned himself with the club’s socialist leanings espoused by former iconic boss the late Bill Shankly. The German also previously said that he “believes in the welfare state” and once summarised his political views: “My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well, too. If there’s something I will never do in my life it is vote for the right.”
The Hillsborough disaster is at the heart of Liverpool fans’ distaste for the UK Government; it took more than 30 years for victims’ families to receive an official apology from police for failings on that day.
“Maybe we should ask this question [why fans boo],” Klopp added. “It was not something I enjoyed or whatever – but that’s the answer.”