Liverpool have been dealt a huge blow to their title hopes, and rather than coming from a crucial loss or a long term injury, it’s come from FIFA and their extensive paperwork process.
Last night’s Sun carried the story that Joel Matip could miss five games for his club while the Africa Cup of Nations is going on. The defender already missed Sunday’s game after being pulled from the squad at the last minute.
The issue is that Matip’s international side, Cameroon, are competing at the AFCON and have called Matip up.
The former Schalke man has claimed that he has retired from International football, but Liverpool are too afraid of a FIFA sanction to risk playing him while Cameroon are still in the tournament, as technically he has been called up and thus cannot play in the intervening period.
It it’s true that Liverpool will not be able to use him until the end of the AFCON tournament, they Reds will really be raging at FIFA and their bureaucracy.