The former Schalke stalwart has this week been the focus of a bizarre and ultimately confusing club versus country row relating to his eligibility for domestic action during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Matip was one of seven to withdraw from Hugo Broos’ 35-man provisional Cameroon squad for Gabon last month. Current Fifa regulations state that players are not permitted to represent their clubs during the period for which they should have been released, although Liverpool believe that the 25-year-old should be available to play for them given that he has not featured for the Indomitable Lions since September 2015 and is now essentially retired from international football. medical interview sheffield 2014British sprinters hospitalised after head-on motorbike crash While Matip was withdrawn from contention for the 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United on Sunday, it had been speculated that Liverpool, who have been repeatedly frustrated in their attempts to gain clarity on the situation from Fifa, may risk the governing body’s wrath by fielding him against Plymouth. Klopp admitted during a pre-match press conference yesterday that he did not know if he would be allowed to pick him and claimed that he would need to seek further legal advice. Coach magazine publishes ‘bogus’ interview with Lionel Messi And after receiving guidance on the possible repercussions behind such a decision, the Liverpool Echo now report that Klopp has decided to err on the side of caution and not include Matip for the trip to Home Park. Liverpool’s decision not to play Matip until the situation is properly clarified is probably a wise move. As a sports law expert told IBTimes UK earlier this week, while the list of potential sanctions is not clearly defined, the Reds could theoretically have been expelled from the FA Cup regardless of their result. Fines and bans are also possible, while clubs who field ineligible players in league matches leave themselves open to points deductions.
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