We’ve all seen the videos floating around social media lately of the scouse kids who run onto the pitch and take a match ball or something. Or last week when Chelsea FC Women’s star Sam Kerr absolutely rocked a punk who ran onto the field. It’s a good laugh when a kid does it, but more and more it seems like adults are doing it and it’s a real danger, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
“The support they give is second-to-none and I will always be grateful for this.” Klopp said. “But if a good relationship is built on honesty, there is a concern that I have to raise about a problem that has crept in recently. In quite a few games we have had supporters run on the pitch and this is something that needs to stop.”
During the last international break, a video popped up on Twitter of Mo Salah being escorted off the pitch by security after a match for Egypt. The body guards are shown to be pushing away some fans trying to get Salah’s autograph and photo.
“As a club, we have worked incredibly hard to build a special bond between players and supporters and in the right circumstances I want the interaction between both to be at the highest level.” Klopp continued, “The more we can be together, the better - but the pitch itself is an exception to this. We are still in the midst of a pandemic and this means the players spend their times in red zones, doing everything they can to limit contact so that games can be played.”
It’s especially dangerous when Liverpool are in a toxic environment, like when they play against Everton. Bottles were thrown at Alisson at Goodison Park.
“This precaution is absolutely necessary but it means that the players have to make sacrifices in their own lives to reduce the risk of infection. The pitch is a red zone and needs to be treated that way. At Everton last week, a steward fell awkwardly when he tried to stop someone from running on the pitch. Shortly after, Alisson had to take evasive action to avoid another supporter who almost knocked him over,” said Klopp.
“It was not so long ago that Adrian was injured by a pitch invader who caught him by accident as we celebrated winning the Super Cup in Istanbul. None of these outcomes or risks are worthwhile.
“Whenever we win games, I want to celebrate with our supporters but our ability to do so is undermined if we have security issues. This was the case at Goodison where I would have loved to have spent longer enjoying the moment with our fans but it was just not possible because the stewards had to clear the pitch.
“This isn’t the way we want it to be. We want to share special times with you, but the best way of doing this is by all of us being in the place that we’re supposed to be. Anything else doesn’t make sense.”
Klopp is obviously unhappy with the current situation, and it’s been a problem long time coming. A silly internet prankster stripped naked during the 2019 UCL Final when Liverpool played Tottenham in Madrid.