London, June 21: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed Marcus Rashford for his incredible social services during the COVID-19 crisis, saying he has shown footballers can make a difference when it matters.
Rashford's campaign bore fruit on Tuesday as his efforts ensured around 1.3 million children will get free school meal vouchers during the holidays. According to a BBC report, the 22-year-old Manchester United forward drew praise from even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who lauded his "contribution to the debate around poverty". Sir Kenny Dalglish Testing Positive for Coronavirus Was ‘Real Shock’ for Jurgen Klopp.
Rashford had stepped up his campaign for the government to fund free meals for needy children through the summer school lockdown.
Klopp, speaking to Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton, said: "Marcus Rashford, I have to say, I couldn't respect more what you did - it's unbelievable.
"It's a bit of a shame you had to do it, but still unbelievable that you did it. It really shows that a person - not alone - but with his name and his effort can change really important things. We are all part of society and we are all involved in that." Klopp also said equality should be in all parts of society, not just in football.
"I think equality should be in all parts of society, not just in football. You can see at each level there are so many smart people out there and the last thing you should look for is the colour of someone's skin," he added.
"Being smart has nothing to do with your skin colour, it has only to do with who you are and you don't have to be smart you can be likeable, lovable, you can be funny or whatever. It has nothing to do with your skin colour.
"For us in football it is the most natural thing. I struggle a little bit to talk about it because we live it completely different. For us they are all the same, absolutely the same. So if there is one thing you can learn from football it is this."
On playing football without fans, he said: "No one should compare (performances with and without fans) because none of the famous European nights at Anfield would have happened without the supporters.
"You can't comeback - OK you can comeback - but it is not as likely (without fans) and the reason for this habit of things like this happening at Anfield is the crowd of course. There is no doubt about that."
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 21, 2020 04:59 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).