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Joel Matip: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expecting Fifa decision on Friday

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Joel Matip: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expecting Fifa decision on Friday

Liverpool will find out on Friday if a disciplinary case against Joel Matip will be opened, as confusion continues over the defender's availability.

The 25-year-old missed Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United after the Reds failed to get clearance from Fifa about whether he could play for his club during the African Cup of Nations.

He 'refused to play' for Cameroon after being named in their preliminary squad.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said he was not "100% sure" of Matip's availability.

Matip has not played for Cameroon since 2015 and was not included in their final 23-man squad for the Cup of Nations.

But Fifa regulations state a player may be blocked from playing for his club if he refuses to play for his country.

The player could miss six to eight games for Liverpool if he is not made available until the end of the competition.

"I don't want to blame anyone, but our supporters deserve to know about the process we are in," said Klopp, who was speaking before his side's FA Cup reply with Plymouth Argyle.

"The thing is that in this moment, we are sure we did nothing wrong. Joel Matip did nothing wrong.

"In this moment he is not in the squad for Cameroon, but we have no 100% guarantee that he could play for us. I'd consider putting him in the line-up tomorrow, but I'm not sure I can.

"Fifa told us on Friday they'll decide if they'll open a case about it or not."

Should Cameroon make it to the final on 5 February, Matip would not be available until Liverpool host Tottenham in the Premier League on 11 February.

The German-born player would miss league games against Swansea, Chelsea and Hull, plus the EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton.

Cameroon started their tournament with a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso on Saturday.

Players fear losing their starting spot

Hugo Broos, Cameroon's 62-year-old Belgian manager, said he thinks some African players have been afraid to accept call-ups for the Cup of Nations, for fear of losing their place with their club side.

Broos decided not to elaborate on Matip's situation, but said: "I have a few examples of players who are afraid to come [on international duty] because when they are returning after camp they are not sure they are still playing in the team.

"I think if they want to avoid that then they have to move the tournament to June or July, then competitions are finished in Europe."

Broos does not think club managers are putting direct pressure on their players to refuse international call-ups.

He added: "Players feel 'if I am going now there is someone waiting to take my place.' This is sad for coaches like us who want to have our best team."


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