Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp takes aim at Fifa over Joel Matip case, defender could miss eight games for no good reason
Jurgen Klopp has taken aim at Fifa as Liverpool defender Joel Matip is left sidelined by the inaction of world football's governing body, with the centre-back facing up to eight games on the sideline for no reason.
The German-born defender was left out of the squad to face Manchester United at the weekend after uncertainty over whether he would be banned by Fifa for not attending the African Nations Cup.
Matip retired from international football some 18 months ago but was included in Cameroon's squad for this month's Nations Cup in Gabon.
And while Liverpool have sought clarity on the situation from Fifa, their slow response and inaction has angered Klopp who says he has never experienced a situation like this.
"I haven’t had this situation many times or anything similar.
"I don’t want to blame anybody but our supporters deserve to know about the process.
"In this moment, we are sure we have done nothing wrong and neither has Joel.
"He hasn’t played for Cameroon since 2015 and hasn’t been an international player.
"He could not play for them because he isn’t in the squad but now he cannot 100 percent play for us.
"I would consider to line him up tomorrow but I don’t know if I can.
"Fifa told us that next Friday they will decide to open a case about him or not.
"They have told us it would then be between 7-10 days if we get a decision.
"From January 2nd, it could be up to eight games, had he been fit. If the result is what we think it will be, he would have missed eight games for doing nothing wrong.
"I accept rules in life but they should base it on human sense.
"In this case, we cannot do more. It is really hard."
When asked how Matip had responded, Klopp revealed that the player was deeply unhappy with the farce surrounding his availability.
"He isn’t happy. I told him before the United game that I can’t pick him.
"We are not the only club. Schalke have a similar problem and so do West Brom, maybe Ajax too.
"It is really difficult to get in contact with the people.
"It is important and we have to wait for a fit player who wasn’t playing for Cameroon for 15-16 months. It is difficult to accept."
Independent News Service