Jurgen Klopp is very irritated by the Joel Matip Cameroon situation.
Our defender made himself unavailable to his country for the AFCON and wasn’t selected in the squad, but the centre-back is currently unavailable to us because we haven’t got clearance from FIFA yet to use him.
This seems very odd to us, as Matip’s essentially retired from international football and is a paid employee of Liverpool Football Club.
So.. what’s the problem? Who’s benefiting from him sitting on sidelines when Cameroon are playing in the AFCON?
“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,” Klopp told the Guardian.
“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.”
Hopefully the 26-year-old will be back in the lineup in time for the Swansea clash next weekend, but assuming FIFA will pull their fingers out is probably not sensible.
Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan have done ok in Matip’s absence, but our summer signing is our best centre-back and he’ll take the place of one of them at some point.