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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 18 April 2021
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Matip avoids club v country row after Liverpool defender left out of Cameroon's AFCON squad

The Reds will breathe a sigh of relief after Cameroon threatened to get Fifa involved.

Matip has started 12 league games for Liverpool this season.
Matip has started 12 league games for Liverpool this season.
Image: Nigel French

JURGEN KLOPP WILL be boosted by the availability of defender Joel Matip over the next month after the Cameroon international avoided becoming the centre of a club versus country row.

The 25-year-old was left out of Cameroon’s final 23-man squad for this month’s African Cup of Nations after informing coach Hugo Broos that he did not want to be considered for selection.

Matip had stated emphatically that he did not want to travel to the tournament and instead wanted to stay and continue the season with Liverpool, but ran the risk of suspension if he was called-up by Cameroon.

Head coach Broos had suggested they would ask Fifa to suspend players who refused to travel for the duration of the three-week tournament.

“It’s not an easy decision but I want to concentrate on Liverpool. I want to be here,” Matip told Liverpool’s website last month.

“I want to focus on Liverpool and that’s what I had to decide. I think I took the right decision.”

It was a similar situation for West Brom and Allan Nyom, who was also left out of his country’s squad for the tournament which begins on 14 January.

Matop, who was born in Germany to a Cameroonian father, hasn’t played international football since June 2015.

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Ryan Bailey

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