Cameroonian defender, Joel Matip, who plies his club trade with English Premier League side, Liverpool has been receiving huge social media backlash after his country won the African Cup of Nations which ended in Gabon on Sunday (February(, 2017).
Matip was part of a group of seven others who pulled out of the Cameroon squad in the lead-up to the competition. All of them said their unavailability was because they preferred to concentrate on the club football than to represent their nation.
As it turned out, the team fired on without them and are now champions of Africa. Coach Hugo Broos in a statement reacting to the pullout said in a statement, “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 regulation.”
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 regulation.
Below are a series of tweets which targeted the Liverpool player in particular given that over the period that he stayed at Anfield, Liverpool had a bad run which he hardly participated in. His fellow teammate, Senegal’s Saido Mane captained his nation but they crushed out at the quarter-final stage on penalties to the eventual winners, Cameroon.
SPORF (@Sporf) February 6, 2017
5th January: Joel Matip rejects call-up.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 6, 2017
Liverpool lose to Southampton, Swansea, Wolves and Hull
5th February: Cameroon win 2017 AFCON. pic.twitter.com/0OMJWSqDaB
Joel Matip could have won the AFCON with Cameroon.— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) February 6, 2017
Instead he stayed at Liverpool & lost to Swansea, Wolves, Hull & Southampton. pic.twitter.com/7UL0lbztnv
Have to feel for Matip. Stayed at Liverpool instead of going to the AFCON & effectively sacrificed a winners medal for a victory vs Plymouth— Marc (@Marc__T) February 6, 2017
Joel Matip turned down Cameroon to play for Liverpool.— Raijin (@JoeyUch1ha) February 5, 2017
Cameroon just won AFCON.
Liverpool just lost to Hull. pic.twitter.com/wOUSgnrf6J
Matip must be so upset didn’t want to play AFCON. Cameroon have won it and the only win Liverpool had was against Plymouth. He didn’t play 😳— ᒪ3ahpar 🤷🏾♂️ (@l3ahpar) February 5, 2017
Matip and those Cameroon players who turned down Afcon watching their tv like pic.twitter.com/5VrC71LVOe— Michael Oti Adjei (@OtiAdjei) February 5, 2017
Imagine Matip telling his kids he was losing to Hull when they ask him where was he when Cameroon won AFCON, life’s tough— Tikitactic (@TikiTactic) February 5, 2017
This is why Joel Matip refused to play for Cameroon in AFCON.. He wanted to help Liverpool pic.twitter.com/DUQy6aGezQ— Ole Teya (@Kevin_teya) February 5, 2017
Matip refused to join Cameroon at AFCON, stayed with a Liverpool team in decline, while Cameroon went on to win AFCON.. Sjoe!!!— Hey!! You Must Play! (@GilmarWalsh23) February 6, 2017
I hope Matip really enjoyed that solitary win against Plymouth since Cameroon reported for AFCON— G!ambit (@SmylyThe3rd) February 5, 2017
Matip could have won the AFCON with Cameroon 🇨🇲 but decided to watch Liverpool bottle every trophy.— Arsenal FC (@FFArsenal) February 5, 2017
Even an official Liverpool twitter handle carried the story of how coach Hugo Broos mocked the players who refused to turn up for their country. Cameroon beat Egypt by two goals to one to lift their fifth AFCON trophy in the Gabonese capital, Libreville.
Joel Matip was joined by striker Eric Maxime Choupo-Moting of Schalke 04 in Germany – he was the last to suspend his availability.
The other six players in the boycott were, Andre Onana of Ajax Amsterdam, Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Nancy), Allan Nyom (West-Bromwich-Albion), Maxime Poundje (Girondins-Bordeaux), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Olympique-Marseille) and Ibrahim Amadou (Lille).