Bundesliga side Schalke 04 have refused to release Cameroon international midfielder Joel Matip to join the Indomitable Lions outfit camping in Lisbon, Portugal for the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal which is scheduled for March 26 in Dakar.
According to CamFoot, the Die Königsblauen said that the Cameroon FA (Fecafoot) failed to notify the club early enough to arrange for the 19-year-old’s departure.
Moreover, the club said its offices had been closed by the time the Fecafoot’s fax landed and so the secretariat was unable to handle the demand.
Matip was not on the original list presented to the press by coach Javier Clemente, but the Spanish-born manager had to readjust his roster after his choice of players was widely criticized by the local media and some members from the Fecafoot.
About 20 players have arrived in Lisbon by Tuesday morning, but Tottenham’s Benoît Assou-Ekotto was not in sight, prompting observers to suggest he has spurned Clemente’s last minute summon.
The Senegal-Cameroon clash will perhaps be one of the greatest attractions of the third round qualifying because of the enormous pressure on continental giants Cameroon, who need a favourable outcome from the meeting to ameliorate their chances of reaching the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals.
Senegal are topping Group E with 6 points, followed by Cameroon (4pts), DR Congo (1pt) and Mauritius (0pt).