Joel Matip’s refusal to play in the African Cup of Nations has been met with harsh reaction from FIFA, who are contemplating to ban the Liverpool defender for the entirety of the tournament.
It is understood that Matip has snubbed a call from the Cameroon’s national side by claiming unpleasant experience with the previous coaching staff and with some of the teammates.
Citing that as a reason, Matip decided to not play in the AFCON and was keen to play for Liverpool over the busy new year’s schedule.
However, Matip’s decision was met with stern reaction from Cameroon boss Hugo Broos, who warned the players to keep their personal agendas away and fight for the national side.
The matter has grown serious in last few days after Cameroon football’s governing body are now ready to impose a ban on Matip and those players who have snubbed the national call-up for the AFCON.
Such a ban would see Matip ruled out of Liverpool’s squad from January 14 until the end of February leaving Jurgen Klopp with limited options to pick his starting XI, especially his defense.
Sadio Mane is also set to leave Liverpool for AFCON, as he will play for Senegal in African football’s most prestigious tournament.