English Premiership

Cameroon's claim on Matip baffles Klopp

2017-01-17 18:04
Joel Matip (Getty Images)

London - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Tuesday he could not understand why 'retired' Cameroon defender Joel Matip was currently unavailable to the Reds because of the African Nations Cup.

Klopp had to pull Matip out of Sunday's Premier League draw with Manchester United because of a confusion over the player's international status.

Both Matip and Liverpool believe the 25-year-old -- who has not played for Cameroon since September 2015 -- has retired from international football.

Yet he was still named in Cameroon's squad for the ongoing African Nations Cup in Gabon.

The Cameroonian Football Federation had a right to select him under FIFA rules and, with the player not having reported for international duty, the global governing body has the power to suspend Matip from club football for the duration of the tournament.

Liverpool had hoped the CFF would respect Matip's decision to retire and Klopp feels the Merseysiders are now having to suffer an unfair punishment. FIFA, however, have yet to soften their stance.

"There are not a lot of times in my life when I have been in a situation like this, not even a similar situation," said Klopp at a news conference ahead of Liverpool's FA Cup third round replay tie away to Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday.

"I don't want to blame anybody but I think our supporters deserve to know about the process we are in.

"In this moment, we are sure we did nothing wrong. We are sure Joel Matip did nothing wrong. He didn't play for Cameroon since 2015. Since he has been here he has not been a Cameroon national player.

"In this moment he is not in the squad of Cameroon, so he cannot play for them, but in this moment we have not a 100 percent guarantee he could play for us. That is the situation."

Matip, signed from Schalke in pre-season, recently recovered from an ankle injury.

Klopp would like him to play at Home Park against fourth-tier Plymouth but does not expect FIFA to lift his ban in time.

"I would consider lining him up tomorrow but I don't know if I can. From the sports side it would make sense - perfect game for him, but I am not sure if I can," explained the German manager

"FIFA told us that this Friday they will decide if they open a case on it or not.

"I accept rules in life but I think they should always be based on human senses. For me, not a lawyer or a legal person, it is pretty difficult.

"If he had not been injured -- but he was - then he couldn't have played from January 2. If FIFA opens a case -- and I don't know but I don't think they will because we are sure everything is all right -- then it would be 7-10 days until we get a decision.

"We conceded an offside goal at Man Utd. That doesn't feel good but I am kind of used to it. In this case it is really hard."

Plymouth held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield last week and Klopp is expected more fierce resistance on Wednesday.

"They are allowed to defend with all they have," said Klopp. "It is up to us."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 22 September 2018
Fulham v Watford, Craven Cottage 13:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 16:00
Cardiff City v Manchester City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.