Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Joel Matip saga is not fair as 'D-Day' arrives

20 January 2017 02:09

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the stand-off between the club, Cameroon and FIFA over the eligibility of Joel Matip is unfair.

The Reds are caught up in a red-tape wrangle over the availability of their centre-back, who insists he has retired from international football having not played since September 2015.

However, Cameroon, competing at the African Nations Cup, are refusing to sanction his release to play for his club as they consider the player to have rejected their approach to name him in their squad.

Liverpool are confident they and Matip have followed the correct procedure and asked FIFA to rule on the player's status. But the club have had to pull him from the last two match-day squads having not received the necessary assurances.

FIFA is scheduled to make a decision on Friday but that has not helped Klopp's pre-match planning for the visit of Swansea.

"I don't have an update. FIFA mentioned to us Friday would be D-Day," said the German.

"The Matip case is obviously, for us, special and we do not feel it is fair.

"We do what we can but we cannot change it and we cannot turn it in our direction because we want it.

"It is difficult in this position because with the fixtures we have at the moment we don't have a lot of training time and you have to work with the team which could start in the next game. And when you're not sure what to do with Joel he is not that involved.

"I had to put me outside this case a little bit because I need my full concentration about other things.

"It is another experience which you don't need but we have to learn from it.

"But it is not about the African Cup of Nations: I absolutely do not have a problem with the African Cup of Nations, it is the opposite.

"I have respect for all what they are doing there in the most difficult circumstances still.

"It is a great tournament - in the middle of our season makes it not too cool but that is not my decision."

Liverpool have already suffered as a result of the African Nations Cup with the loss of top scorer Sadio Mane.

The forward has scored twice in the two group matches so far, meaning Senegal will qualify for the latter stages and a longer absence for Mane.

While the loss of the pacy forward has impacted on Liverpool's attacking options, Klopp admits he is conflicted between what is best for the club and what is best for the player.

"I am happy for you but on the other side I could really kick you in thelower back," added Klopp when asked what he had said to Mane about his progress in the tournament.

"They are through which is good. He played again, scored again.

"I texted him last night but mixed emotions is probably the best description.

"As long as he is fit then we take it like it is and support Senegal."

Source: PA


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