Belfast Telegraph

Klopp frustrated as dispute with Cameroon over Matip rolls on

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Liverpool could be without Joel Matip for the next month as the row over the defender's availability rumbles on.

The centre-back, who has not played for Cameroon since September 2015, was withdrawn from selection by the club for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Manchester United as Fifa failed to provide the necessary guidance on the player's eligibility.

Despite Matip's assertion to his national association that he does not want to be considered for selection, they still made attempts to call him up for the African Nations Cup.

With no likelihood of an agreement being reached with Cameroon, Liverpool asked Fifa to clarify the status of a player who has no desire or intention to represent his country.

However, the world governing body appear to have ducked the issue and insist the regulations are clear.

The final of the African Nations Cup is not until February 5 so should Cameroon make it all the way in the competition Matip would, in theory, not be available until February 10 - the day before Tottenham's trip to Anfield.

A frustrated Jurgen Klopp made his feelings clear yesterday.

"Joel is retired from international football and we, the club, did everything to make this clear but until now we could not get the response to be 100 per cent sure that he can play," said the Liverpool manager.

"It's difficult and frustrating. He's been in training for five days and would have been in the squad (against United) so I don't think it's fair."

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