Cameroon defender, Joel Matip could further miss six additional Liverpool games as his rumble with the Cameroon Football Federation continues.
Following to his refusal to honour a call-up to the provisional roster of AFCON-bound Cameroon, the country’s Football Federation is adamant Matip shouldn’t be permitted to play for Liverpool for the duration of the African Soccer Fiesta.
The former Schalke 04 centre-back was withdrawn from Jurgen Klopp’s squad to face Manchester United on Sunday after the Reds were frustrated in their bid to secure clearance from FIFA. However the 25-year old, who has not featured for Cameroon since September 2015, considers himself retired from international football and had always made it clear that he wasn’t available for selection.
Liverpool have been infuriated by FIFA’s failure to provide any clarity on the situation. The World football governing body have merely stated that if the Reds were to play Matip without Cameroon’s permission then it could lead to disciplinary actions been taken.
A FIFA spokesman said: “We can confirm that Liverpool FC contacted FIFA about the issue and our services answered by directing the club to the applicable provisions. A player who has been called up by his association for one of it’s teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annexe, plus an additional period of five days.”
FIFA also stated that “any potential violation of the applicable provisions would need to be investigated by FIFA disciplinary committee.”Asked if they would step up in resolve to the row and when a decision was likely, the spokesman said that “no further comment on the issue could be provided.”
Should Cameroon reach the final of the AFCON, then Matip wouldn’t be available to play until around February 10. Both the defender and Liverpool have given up on attempting to conclude on the issue and it appears until FIFA steps into the issue, then Matip’s wait for a return from an ankle injury will continue.