Liverpool leave Joel Matip out of squad for FA Cup replay against Plymouth

18 January 2017 10:38

Liverpool have erred on the side of caution and omitted defender Joel Matip from the squad to face Plymouth in their FA Cup third round replay as the row over his eligibility rumbles on.

As the debate over his availability continues Jurgen Klopp, after taking legal advice about the potential ramifications of playing the centre-back, has decided not to risk playing him at Home Park on Wednesday, Press Association Sport understands.

Liverpool were hoping FIFA would rule on Matip's status as he insists he retired from international duty in September 2015 but Cameroon still tried to call him up for the African Nations Cup.

Despite talks between all parties there is a stand-off with Cameroon unwilling to consent to the release of Matip and FIFA not yet able to say whether the player is free to play.

Currently, therefore, the player is treated as having declined the call-up which means, under FIFA regulations, he is unavailable for his club for the duration of the period he would have spent with Cameroon plus an extra five days.

On Tuesday Klopp admitted he was considering playing Matip at Plymouth and then waiting to see what the consequences would be.

But, having claimed he has been told FIFA will decide by Friday whether an investigation into Matip's non-compliance is necessary, the German has opted to take the safety-first option.

Source: PA

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