Emotional Klopp says thoughts of Liverpool FC with injured Irish fan’s family

Seán Cox (53) from Dunboyne, Co Meath assaulted before Roma match at Anfield

Speaking at a press conference, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp wears a LiverBird with the Irish colours in support of injured fan Seán Cox and his family. Video: Reuters

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said the “thoughts and prayers” of people at the club are with the family of an Irish supporter who is in a critical condition following an assault while in the city for a match this week.

Two Italian men have been charged following the attack on Seán Cox (53), from Co Meath, ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, at which he wore a Liverbird badge with the colours of the Irish tricolour on it in support of Cox and his family, Klopp said he was still shocked by what happened but hoped there would be no repeat of the violence next week when the team meet again in Rome next week.

“As you can imagine all our thoughts and prayers at this moment are with Seán and his family,” he said.

“I think the game on Tuesday showed the beauty of the game during the game and showed it’s most ugly face of parts of the game before the game.

“When I first heard of it I cannot describe my emotions in English. It should never have happened, it should never have happened before and it should not happen in the future and we all have to do everything to make sure things like that will not happen any more.

“I obviously don’t have the solution for it, probably no-one has that, but it is unbelievable that something like this can happen.”

Violent disorder

Mr Cox, a father-of-three from Dunboyne, suffered serious head injuries when he was assaulted before the match. Filippo Lombardi (20) and Daniele Sciusco (29) appeared at South Sefton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, in connection with the incident. They were charged with violent disorder and were remanded in custody until next month. Mr Lombardi was also charged with wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm on the Irish man.

Mr Cox, who works as sales director of Dundalk-based company Precision Cables, is a life-long Liverpool FC supporter and used the match as an opportunity to also meet up with his brother who lives in the UK.

Members of his family have flown to Liverpoll to maintain a vigil at his bedside in the Walton Neurological Centre.

A GoFundme page set up to help cover Mr Cox’s s medical bills and accommodation for his family had raised more than €60,000 by lunchtime on Friday.

A delegation from Liverpool met officials from UEFA, police and the Serie A club in the Italian capital on Friday to discuss their issues.

Klopp called for common sense to prevail in Rome after the club raised concerns for fans’ safety.

On fan behaviour and the suggestion there could be more trouble involving Liverpool supporters, Klopp said: “Since I’ve been here I’ve never heard anything about that. I can’t remember anything like that.

“Of course it is difficult to police but the police, as I understand, will do the job.

“It is common sense. What can I say which they don’t already know and if I say it would that change it?

“It is easy to say: behave like how you want to be treated yourself. If you are in the street you want to be safe, that’s how it is.”