Jürgen Klopp's update on Joel Matip
Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on the situation of Joel Matip, as Liverpool FC continue to seek clarity on the defender's current eligibility.
The No.32 was withdrawn from selection for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United, and the manager addressed the issue at his pre-Plymouth Argyle press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
“There were not a lot of times in my life I was in a situation like this, actually, not even in a similar situation,” said Klopp.
“I don’t want to blame anybody – that’s important – but I think our supporters, for sure, need to or deserve to know about the process we are in.
“In this moment, we are sure – not we only think, we are sure – we did nothing wrong. We are sure Joel Matip did nothing wrong. He didn’t play for Cameroon since 2015, [which] means since he [has been] here, he was not a Cameroon national player. He’s not in the squad of Cameroon in this moment, so he could not play for Cameroon, for sure, because he’s not in the squad.
“But in this moment, we have no 100 per cent guarantee that he could play for us. That’s the situation.
“The last few days – not only the last few days, maybe more the weeks – but in the last few days it’s getting more and more, really busy. All departments were involved from LFC.
“The procedure is that I would consider to line him up tomorrow, but I don’t know if I can, that’s the thing. From the sports side, it would make absolute sense, [it’s a] perfect game for him and all that stuff, but I’m not sure if I can.
“The thing is that FIFA told us that on Friday, this Friday, they will decide if they open a case about it or not. I accept rules in life, wherever, but I think they should always be based on human sense.
“For me, not as a lawyer, not a legal person, it’s pretty difficult. We have a running season and if he wouldn’t have been injured – but he was, obviously – then he couldn’t play since January 2. If we go to Friday and if FIFA opens a case then – I don’t know, [but] I don’t think they will because we are really sure everything is alright – then it would be, they already told us, between seven and 10 days until we get a decision.
“In England, in our situation, that would mean United involved, Plymouth involved, Swansea involved, then another seven days, another two games. It’s kind of, from January 2, eight games or something. At the end, if the result is what we think it will be – even if they open a case – and everything is OK with Joel, then he didn’t play eight games, or let me say four because he was injured before, without doing anything wrong.
“And as a human being, it’s unbelievably hard for me. We conceded an offside goal at Manchester United and it doesn’t feel good, but I’m kind of used to it – sometimes you score an offside goal and sometimes you concede one. It doesn’t feel good, but it is like it is. But, in this case, we cannot do more, obviously, and that’s really hard.”
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