Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says moving the Africa Cup of Nations back to January “is, for us, a catastrophe.”
The 2021 tournament has been moved from the summer because of “unfavourable” weather in host country Cameroon.
And the Reds face losing Senegal forward Sadio Mane, Egypt winger Mohamed Salah and Guinea midfielder Naby Keita for a month in mid-season.
“If we have to make a decision about bringing in a player, it is a massive one,” said the Anfield boss.
“You know for four weeks you don’t have them. As a club you have to think about this. It doesn’t help African players.”
“I couldn’t respect the Africa Cup of Nations more than I do because I like the competition and watched it a lot in the past. It’s a very interesting tournament,” added Klopp.
“But, it’s an obvious problem that you play a tournament in the middle of the season, although it makes more sense for Africa to play it in our winter when the weather is better for them – I get that.
“But we have absolutely no power – so if we did say ‘We don’t let him go’, the player is suspended.
“If a player is injured and cannot play for us we have to send him to Africa and they have a look and in one or two weeks they are back. Nowadays, it should not be like this.”