The Fifa Club World Cup is inconvenient for Liverpool on a number of levels. The tournament in Qatar comes at the wrong time and is in the wrong place. Jurgen Klopp’s team could do without the two extra games that come as a consequence of winning the Champions League . The pursuit of the Premier League trophy is the highest priority. Liverpool have not won the title since 1990 and everyone around the club is desperate to end this run. A trip to the Gulf is the last thing the team need before the busy festive period. That said, it could have been much worse for Klopp. The German has an eight-point cushion at the top of the table going into the match against Watford at Anfield and the round of Premier League fixtures that Liverpool miss features a clash between Leicester City and Manchester City, the two sides in closest pursuit. A scratch squad of youth teamers will face Aston Villa in the quarter-final of the EFL Cup on Tuesday but defeat at Villa Park would cause no consternation. Klopp has his eyes on bigger prizes. Liverpool will take their two games in Doha seriously, despite their reservations. The club have never been world champions. They had the chance twice in the 1980s but treated the contest like a friendly. In 1981 Bob Paisley’s side were beaten 3-0 by Flamengo – who Liverpool will likely meet in the final this time around. Before that game in Tokyo the manager instructed his players not to tackle their Brazilian opponents. Joe Fagan continued that policy three years later when Argentina’s Independiente triumphed 1-0 against a disengaged Liverpool. Matches between South American and European clubs had a history of violence and Paisley and Fagan feared trouble would erupt again in Japan. Klopp needs to return from this desert adventure with a clean bill of health, especially with a Boxing Day clash with Leicester looming Rafa Benitez’s side had another crack at becoming world champions in 2005 and were eager to win the tournament but Brazil’s Sao Paulo edged them out 1-0. Klopp has the chance to do something that none of his illustrious predecessors has achieved. The thing Liverpool dread is picking up injuries. The arrival of Takumi Minamino from Salzburg in January will create more depth going into the new year but the squad is still thin in key areas. Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are particularly important to the way the team function at their best. Klopp needs to return from this desert adventure with a clean bill of health, especially with a Boxing Day clash with Leicester looming. Liverpool will be the 1st top-flight team ever to play in 5 competitions in 27 days: CL: Tomorrow PL: Dec 14, 21, 26, 9, Jan 2 Carabao Cup: Dec 17 Club World Cup: Dec 18 FA Cup: Jan 5 — Bill Edgar (@BillEdgarTimes) December 9, 2019 There have been off-pitch concerns, too. Last month the club refused to stay at the allocated accommodation after becoming aware that the hotel had paid immigrant staff rates below the minimum wage in Qatar. Liverpool have also expressed concern about the Arab nation’s attitude to LGBT supporters and have been assured that fans will be welcome whatever their sexual preferences. The issue of the safety of migrant workers has cast a shadow over the competition. A handful of workmen have been killed during the construction of stadiums for the 2022 World Cup but a number of studies have looked beyond on-the-job accidents and discovered a pattern of unexplained deaths of workers. The Fair/Square human rights organisation contacted Liverpool last month about the case of Rupchandra Rumba, a 24-year-old Nepalese scaffolder who worked on the Education City stadium where Liverpool were slated to play their semi-final – the game has been moved to the Khalifa International stadium because the original venue is not ready. Rumba died in his lodgings from heart failure in June but medical research has linked a series of similar deaths with the extreme summer temperatures in Qatar. It is estimated that hundreds of workers die each year as a result of heat stress. Fair/Square wrote to Peter Moore and alerted Anfield’s chief executive to the situation and, as a result, Liverpool contacted the organisers of the tournament to express their concerns about Rumba’s family. They also asked for an update on the investigation into a fatal accident involving a British citizen, Zac Cox, two years ago during construction at Khalifa. Moore’s response to Fair/Square pointedly referred to “justice” for the bereaved families in the two cases. The club have been deeply involved in the Hillsborough campaign and the word justice has huge emotional resonance inside Anfield and among the fan base. Although Liverpool would prefer – like all sporting organisations – to avoid controversy and concentrate on the football, part of the club’s ethos means they cannot remain mute. The tournament is not quite more trouble than it is worth but it is an encumbrance that Liverpool could gladly live without. The prize money is not massive – in the region of £4 million if in line with recent payouts. On the plus side, the added prestige will not hurt the club’s global appeal if they can win. The tournament will become much more desirable and lucrative in two years when it relocates to China, moves to a summer time slot and expands to 24 teams. Liverpool will be glad when they arrive home from Qatar. They will be even happier if they suffer no injuries and come back as world champions. Then they can knuckle down and get on with the real business: winning the Premier League.