Liverpool’s Joel Matip opens up on row with Cameroon over AFCON miss


Liverpool defender Joel Matip has spoken out on his frustrating spell away from the Reds action during the Africa Cup of Nations period, in a squabble with his country over his refusal to participate in the continental competition.

The25-year-old was called up by Cameroon coach Hugo Broos despite insisting he had retired from international football.

The ensuing row meant he could not feature for Liverpool in the AFCON period.

FIFA stepped in, but only after Jurgen Klopp was unable to use the talented centre-back, leaving Matip exasperated by the situation.

Matip and other Cameroonian players based in Europe missed the Indomitable Lions AFCON triumph in Gabon, prompting Broos to aim a dig at them after the victory.

“There was a lot of trouble before, players who wouldn’t come with us,” said Broos after the final. “OK, it’s their decision. But maybe they are saying now to themselves, ‘S***! Why didn’t I go with them?'” he said.

Liverpool are currently fifth in the Premier League standings, ten points behind leaders Chelsea who play Burnley on Sunday.