LONDON (AFP) - Joel Matip missed Liverpool's Premier League game at Manchester United on Sunday because his club are still awaiting clearance from Fifa following his retirement from international football with Cameroon.
Matip, 25, announced he no longer wished to be considered for selection by Cameroon last year and was not named in their Africa Cup of Nations squad. But even though he has returned to fitness after an ankle problem, Liverpool cannot play him because they are waiting for world governing body Fifa to provide clarity on his eligibility.
"Liverpool Football Club can confirm Joel Matip has been withdrawn from selection for today's Premier League fixture at Manchester United as the club continues to seek clarity from Fifa as to the player's eligibility," Liverpool said in a statement on their website.
"The Cameroon Football Federation have failed to confirm that Matip can ... play club football during the period of the Africa Cup of Nations.
"Liverpool have subsequently repeatedly sought, as a matter of urgency, clarity from Fifa in this regard.
"This includes assurances the player was called up for the tournament in accordance with the world governing body's regulations.
"It is Liverpool's view that the player should be available for club football during the period of the competition and will continue to work for a speedy and unambiguous resolution."
In Matip's absence, Ragnar Klavan continued at centre-back alongside Dejan Lovren.