Liverpool defender Joel Matip avoids disciplinary action after being left out of Cameroon's AFCON squad

Liverpool defender Joel Matip avoids disciplinary action after being left out of Cameroon's AFCON squad

Fears of Liverpool defender Joel Matip being imposed with a one-month ban from club football have been allayed after the defender, who has self-excluded himself from international duty, was left out of Cameroon's 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Charlie Malam

Fears of any suspension for Liverpool's Joel Matip have been dismissed after it was revealed Cameroon left the centre-back out of their 23-man Africa Cup of Nations squad on Wednesday.

Matip, who has amassed 27 caps, is currently on a self-imposed exile but had been included in his country's provisional squad regardless.

Earlier this week, manager Hugo Broos had said he was expecting the defender to join up with the rest of the squad for training despite having not represented the Indomitable Lions for over a year.

Yet with it well known that the 25-year-old had no intention of reporting for international duty, the Cameroon football federation still warned Matip that he could face discipline in accordance with FIFA regulations.

Broos indicated that Cameroon could ask football's international governing body to suspend players from club games for refusing to take part for the four-time AFCON winners.

Matip to avoid disciplinary action after Broos backs down

But no disciplinary action can now be taken, with the player left out of Broos' final squad for the tournament in Gabon - which begins on January 14 and runs until February 5.

He told in December: "It’s not an easy decision but I want to concentrate on Liverpool. I want to be [here]. I want to focus on Liverpool and that’s what I had to decide. I think I took the right decision."

Matip, whose exclusion he says is because of previous bad experience with technical staff, stayed on Merseyside throughout international breaks earlier this season when he declared that concentrating on settling in at Anfield was of higher importance than playing for his country.

West Bromwich Albion right-back Allan Nyom will also avoid punishment, having too excluded himself from selection. Overall, seven players have asked to be omitted - with Broos respecting all of their wishes.

Matip, who joined Liverpool from Schalke on a free transfer in the summer, is currently injured with an ankle problem but hopes to be back in training within the coming days ahead of next weekend's Premier League trip to Manchester United.

Matip's Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane has already joined up with the Senegal squad that faces Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Algeria in Group B.

He could miss up to eight matches, with his earliest possible return date January 24th if Senegal are knocked out in the group stages.

If Senegal reach the first knockout round, Mane would be a huge doubt for the Reds' monumental Anfield clash with Chelsea - which would come just 48 hours after Senegal's clash on Sunday, January 28.

After that, the semi-finals are scheduled for February 1 and February 2, prior to Liverpool's trip to Hull City