Football

Cameroon: We have not asked for ban on Matip

Cameroon have not asked Fifa to stop defender Joel Matip playing for Liverpool during the African Nations Cup, but they have not given the Premier League club the green light to field the player either, Cameroonian officials said yesterday.

They are unlikely to give clearance because that would cause an outcry in Cameroon where eight players turned down call-ups for the Finals in Gabon, African football sources told Reuters.

The Cameroon Football Federation (CFF) has not made an official comment on the issue, while Liverpool are consulting their lawyers before deciding whether to play him.

Fifa told the Merseyside club to make up their own minds on whether Matip could play, saying on Monday that it had directed Liverpool to "the applicable provisions" of the regulations.

Matip was left out of the squad for last Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Manchester United and this morning's (Singapore time) FA Cup third-round replay away to fourth-tier Plymouth Argyle because Fifa had not confirmed he was eligible.

Liverpool had hoped the CFF would respect Matip's decision to retire and manager Juergen Klopp feels the Merseysiders are now having to suffer an unfair punishment.

"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.

"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.

"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 per cent guarantee he could play for us. That is the situation." - WIRE SERVICES

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