Joel Matip one of seven facing potential ban for AFCoN snub

Joel Matip and West Brom's Alan Nyom
Joel Matip and West Brom’s Alan Nyom

Seven refusing to play

Liverpool’s Joel Matip is one of seven Cameroon players turning down the opportunity to play for their country at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.According to a statement released by the Cameroon football association, the 25-year-old cited a “bad experience” with previous staff for his decision. Matip hasn’t featured for his country since the 2014 World Cup.West Brom full-back Alan Nyom is another of the players who is choosing his club over country.

The other five Cameroon players are Andre Onana (Ajax Amsterdam), Guy N’dy Assembe (Nancy), Maxime Poundje (Girondins Bordeaux), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Olympique Marseille) and Ibrahim Amadou (Lille).

All seven were named a 35-man prelimnary list but won’t make the final 23-man squad which is named next week.

Could face action

The Cameroon football association can ask FIFA to suspend the players at club level for the duration of the January 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.”