Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defends Wayne Rooney after 'wedding picture scandal'

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defends Wayne Rooney after 'wedding picture scandal'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Wayne Rooney has been hard done by over the reaction to pictures of him having a drink at a wedding party this weekend.

Klopp was questioned about the issue at the beginning of his press conference this morning, ahead of Liverpool's trip to Southampton on Saturday.

The German is of the opinion that the need for Rooney to issue an apology due to having a drink is over the top:

“He’s apologised for having a glass of whatever? I really feel for the players. There’s a human being behind the kid,” said Klopp.

“This generation is the most professional generation of footballers we have ever had.

“The legends drank like devils and were still good players. I’m pretty sure what Wayne did wasn’t so serious.

“That’s the life we live, under a magnifying glass and in one or two weeks no one will remember this.”

In a statement released on behalf of the England captain to Press Association Sport, Rooney admitted the images which emerged of him over the weekend were "inappropriate for someone in his position".

The full statement reads:

"Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today.

"Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.

"Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise.

"He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures."

The 31-year-old started England's World Cup qualifying win against Scotland on Friday, but a minor knee injury saw him withdraw from the squad to face Spain.

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate was forced to deny after Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Spain that Rooney's absence was anything to do with images that emerged from The Grove Hotel on Saturday night.

The Sun alleged that Rooney dropped in on a wedding party, with the paper printing a photo appearing to show the Manchester United forward, sporting an England training top, looking the worse for wear.

Figures within the FA are understood, by Press Association Sport, to be disappointed by what has emerged and overnight free time - in place for a number of years - will now be reviewed.

An FA spokesperson said: "All England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times. We will be reviewing our policy around free time whilst on international duty."

Press Association Sport understands Rooney has been spoken to about the incident, while everyone else involved has or will be spoken to.

Matters will be dealt with internally in terms of repercussions, with the players' code of conduct introduced in 2012 still in place.