Joel Matip decided to remain with Liverpool in January and snub Cameroon’s call up for the African Cup of Nations and he may face disciplinary action.
Despite not having played for Cameroon since 2015 due to a lack of organisation, Joel Matip is still getting call ups from national team coach Hugo Broos. It would seem as though the Cameroonian coaching setup believed that Matip would end his self-imposed exile from international football but his decision not to has angered the hierarchy within the national team setup.
According to the Daily Mail, The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) have confirmed that seven players have pulled out of the 35-man squad for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon next month with the players saying that ‘a bad experience with previous staff’ motivated them to decide against playing in the tournament.
Cameroon are threatening to take action against the players refusing to take part in the tournament. Joel Matip and West Brom defender Allan Nyom have decided to stay in England to fight for their places in their teams but might face disciplinary action for their actions.
Fecafoot, however, are unhappy with their players and have blasted them for ‘putting their personal interest first to the detriment of the national team.’ The Cameroonian Football Federation can ask FIFA to suspend players [like Matip and Nyom] for the three-week duration of the tournament.
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said, “These players have put personal interest above those of the national team and the federation reserves the right to take action against the players in accordance with Fifa regulations.”
This would have a detrimental effect on Liverpool’s title chances as it would leave Liverpool without Matip and Mane. Although Matip will remain on Merseyside for the duration of the AFCON tournament, Liverpool will be without the talismanic presence of Mane for crunch games against Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester United.