Liverpool Star In Danger Of Missing 6 Crucial Matches
Liverpool star Joel Matip is in danger of missing up to SIX further games after FIFA refused to step in and settle their dispute with the Cameroon FA
Liverpool star Joel Matip is in danger of missing up to SIX further games after FIFA refused to step in and settle their dispute with the Cameroon FA, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Matip was withdrawn from the Liverpool squad for Sunday’s huge Premier League showdown against Manchester United at Old Trafford after failing to receive clearance from FIFA that the defender was allowed to play.
Cameroon insist that Matip can’t turn out for his club for the duration of the Africa Cup of Nations after he was named in t heir provisional 35-man squad for the tournament in Gabon – even though the 25-year-old made it clear he wasn’t available for selection.
Matip hasn’t played for Cameroon since September 2015 and has made it clear that he’s retired from international football and reiterated at the start of December that he had no plans to represent his country at the AFCON.
However, Cameroon are refusing to give Matip permission to play for Liverpool and FIFA have still not given any clarification as to whether the centre-back is free to play during the course of the Africa Cup of Nations.
But FIFA did confirm that disciplinary action could be taken if Liverpool chose to play Matip without Cameroon’s permission.
A spokesman for the world’s governing body simply told the Liverpool Echo:
“We can confirm that Liverpool FC contacted FIFA about the matter 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 its representative 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.”
“Any potential violation of the applicable provisions would need to be investigated by the FIFA disciplinary committee”.
The Liverpool Echo claim that Liverpool have given up hope of trying to reach an agreement with Cameroon and have been left ‘infuriated’ by FIFA’s failure to resolve the issue leaving them in an impossible situation.
The Reds could decide to risk disciplinary action from FIFA by playing Matip against Plymouth in their FA Cup replay on Wednesday night as at least that would force the governing body to adjudicate on the matter.
However, the Echo seem to suggest that Liverpool will continue to leave the defender on the sidelines and hope that FIFA eventually step-in to resolve the dispute.
If they fail to do so and Cameroon reach the final of the AFCON on February 5th, then Matip wouldn’t be eligible to play for Liverpool until the 10th meaning he could miss another six games for his club.
It would be a devastating blow for the Merseysiders as they face a pivotal period where they play in three different competitions which would see Matip miss the FA Cup replay on Wednesday, the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final with Southampton, a potential FA Cup fourth round tie with Wolves as well as crucial league games with Swansea, Chelsea and Hull.
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