Liverpool's Matip planning to skip AFCON 2017
16 September 2016, 20:42
Cape Town - Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip has confirmed that he intends to stay at Anfield when Cameroon kick off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign in January.
Having joined the Reds on a free transfer from Schalke in the off-season, Matip feels he would be best served staying in England in order to focus on his Liverpool career.
Cameroon boss Hugo Broos recently expressed his doubts over the involvement of Matip and his brother, Marvin, in the upcoming African showpiece, and the Reds defender has now confirmed his desire to skip the tournament.
"I would say at the moment I will be concentrating on Liverpool," Matip told the Telegraph. "It is a long time until January so you never know, but that is the idea.
"Last year I had injury problems. The extra games and travelling were going to make it harder for me. I had to listen to my body and it told me that the international week was the right time to have a break.
"I spoke with the Cameroon manager and he was not happy, but I have to do what is right to be 100% and make sure I am not injured again, especially at an important time in my career starting at Liverpool."
Matip has been capped 27 times by his country, scoring one goal in the process.