Jürgen Klopp calls for Fifa to make a decision over Joël Matip
Jürgen Klopp has demanded answers from Fifa on the Liverpool defender Joël Matip after he was forced to leave the player out for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
The Cameroon centre-half retired from international football in 2015 but the national team coach Hugo Broos has attempted to call him up for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Matip had made his position clear in the lead-up to the tournament and Liverpool were relaxed about the situation, despite Cameroon officials continuing to make noises about him being selected.
However, although Cameroon finalised their squad for the competition more than a week ago, Liverpool were unable to gain clarity from Fifa about Matip’s situation.
“Our understanding is Joël is retired from international football and we, the club, did everything we had to do to make this clear but until now we could not get the response we need to be 100 per cent sure that he can play,” said Klopp.
“It’s pretty difficult and pretty frustrating, to be honest. He’s been in training for five days and would have been in the squad, 100 per cent, maybe on the pitch today, so I don’t think it’s fair.
“But we cannot do more and are still waiting on the decision. We could not take the risk.
“But we need to get an answer as quickly as possible because on Wednesday we have the next game [an FA Cup third-round replay at Plymouth] and then another game and another game. We cannot wait forever.
“It is public now, we have this problem and we are not the only team with this problem.”
West Brom have faced a similar situation with Allan Nyom, who has not played in their last two matches because they have not received any clarification from Fifa.
Klopp added: “I think Tony Pulis said a few things about it so I don’t think that it is fair for the fans, for the clubs, for the team-mates and for everything.
“Now we have to wait in this moment and think about the game – and then after the game we will try again to get answers.”
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