Jürgen Klopp defends Jordan Henderson for Saudi move

Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has blamed sporting factors for his surprise departure from Saudi Arabia. “A lot of people would like to see me destroy the league there, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit. I wouldn’t advise anyone not to go there. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. That happens in life and in football,” said the 81-time England international.

Henderson was introduced as Ajax Amsterdam’s new player on Friday. Due to a lack of a work permit, the veteran is not yet allowed to train with his new team. A game on Sunday against RKC Waalwijk is also ruled out.

Klopp joins Henderson

The 33-year-old left the Saudi club Al-Ettifaq after less than six months and joined the Dutch record champions. “For me it was the right time to make the change. If I have upset people, I apologize. Just like I did six months ago,” Henderson said.

The midfielder had campaigned for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in England for many years, but moved to Saudi Arabia at the end of July. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in the country and can be punished with the death penalty. Henderson then emphasized that his views had not changed. The abbreviation LGBTIQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and others.

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His former coach Jürgen Klopp sided with Henderson on Friday. “Hendo was criticized, first for moving there and now back. I don’t know why anyone dares to judge this. We have one life and we have to make decisions,” said the 56-year-old. “Sometimes we make the right decision right away, sometimes we see things differently later. He thought it would be better for him and the family if they came back. And he has found a sensational club in Ajax.”


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