FOOTBALL

You decide if Matip can play, FIFA tells Liverpool

Liverpool have effectively been told by FIFA to make up their own minds over whether Cameroon defender Joel Matip can play for them after declining to represent his country in the African Nations Cup.

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Joel Matip

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Liverpool have effectively been told by FIFA to make up their own minds over whether Cameroon defender Joel Matip can play for them after declining to represent his country in the African Nations Cup.

Liverpool withdrew Matip from their squad for Sunday's Premier League match at Manchester United, saying they wanted to seek clarity from soccer's governing body over his eligibility.

FIFA confirmed on Monday that it had replied to Liverpool by "directing the club to the applicable provisions" of the regulations on the status and transfer of players, in particular article five. That states that a player called up by his country for an international tournament is not entitled to play for his club during that period.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp speaks with Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who missed a good late chance, as they leave the pitch.

Sin tituloLiverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp speaks with Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who missed a good late chance, as they leave the pitch.

Matip excluded against Manchester United

Liverpool said Matip was not included in Cameroon's final squad for the Nations Cup and had previously said he did not want to be considered for selection. The English club added that Cameroon's FA had failed to confirm that Matip could play club football while the tournament was taking place in Gabon.

FIFA rules stipulate that associations wishing to call up a player for the final competition of an international tournament must notify the player in writing at least 15 days before the beginning of the relevant release period.

"The player's club shall also be informed in writing at the same time," the ruling body's rules state. "Equally, associations are advised to copy the association of the clubs concerned into the summons."