Klopp yet to reassess pre-season plans amid coronavirus epidemic

Coronavirus has severely impacted Italian football, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said the club is yet to take a decision on reassessing pre-season plans.

Jurgen Klopp was unaware of whether the issue will affect the club's pre-season plans, which according to reports could include a game in Asia.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool is not taking the coronavirus threat lightly but is yet to consider amending its pre-season schedule, according to Jurgen Klopp.

The illness, which emerged in China's Hubei province in December, has now affected people in at least 53 countries and killed more than 2,800.

Italy has been most impacted by the virus in Europe, with several towns in the nation's northern regions put on lockdown.

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That has led to widespread postponements of sporting events at all levels, while five of this weekend's Serie A matches are set to be played behind closed doors, including the Derby d'Italia between Juventus and Inter.

Newcastle United has taken to banning handshakes among players and staff as a prevention method following medical advice, but Liverpool is not making such decisions just yet.

Klopp was unaware of whether the issue will affect the club's pre-season plans, which according to reports could include a game in Asia.

"Not yet, over pre-season we've not thought of changes yet," Klopp told reporters on Friday. "The biomedical department, all advice we get from there.

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"But if you [the media] come in here and don't shake hands, I'm now only two metres away from you, so whatever you have I probably can't avoid getting it as well. We had an interview outside and were even closer.

"We take it really serious, but you can't avoid everything. It's not a football problem, it's a society problem, what we all have in common, so I think everybody is thinking about it at the moment.

"Hopefully the people who are much smarter than us find a way to [end the illness], or medicine, as that's obviously the big problem at the moment, we don't have that yet.

"Hopefully it will settle, but at the moment we deal like all other people, take it seriously and maybe don't do things like maybe you would usually do, but it's like when flu is going around.

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"For us it's the same, we can't do anything different to that and I think in the moment everyone takes it serious.

"We've not told anyone not to shake hands, but then we haven't said you have to shake hands. We have all these disinfection places where we can wash our hands, but is that enough? We don't know.

"No one has told us that we can't play football, and as long as that doesn't happen we will play football.

"It's important we take it seriously but not get crazy, because there are other areas in the world where it's more difficult and hopefully we find a really quick solution."

Liverpool is next in action on Saturday as it goes to relegation-threatened Watford.

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