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Matip could face month's suspension

Liam Hanna by Liam Hanna @LiamPHanna - 0 4,489

Pin Matip (L) may face a month out. AFP
Matip (L) may face a month out. AFP

Matip could face month's suspension

Liam Hanna by Liam Hanna @LiamPHanna - 0 4,489

Liverpool could be without defender Joel Matip for a month if Cameroon fail to give the player permission to play for the club, according to FIFA.

The Liverpool defender was supposed to play a part in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, but he was withdrawn from the squad before kick-off as it was unclear as to whether he had clearance to play in the match.

Matip was called up to play for Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), but the defender said that he did not want to be considered for selection and withdrew from the squad.

According to FIFA rules, a player who is called up for international duty, unless agreed by the relevant association, may be banned for the period of time he was meant to serve playing for his country.

Article 5 to which FIFA refer states the following: "A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annexe, plus an additional period of five days".

This means that Matip may be unavailable to play until 10 February, should Cameroon object to the player's withdrawal from their AFCON squad.

A suspension would come as a huge blow to Liverpool, who have remained unbeaten this season in every game in which Matip has played.

Liam Hanna

Liam Hanna

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