Expert: Liverpool fear the 'wrath of Fifa' after Naby Keita reveal
Liverpool must release the injured Naby Keita for international duty or risk incurring the “wrath of Fifa”.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis.
Keita’s only outing in 2022-23 came in the final minutes of Liverpool’s 2-1 Community Shield victory over Man City in late July.
The midfielder has been struggling with a hamstring injury and has been one of a number of absentees from the Reds’ midfield.
But, as relayed by the Liverpool ECHO on Mondy (12 September), the 27-year-old has been called up for international duty by Guinea.
Jurgen Klopp has since clarified that he does not expect Keita to join up with his Guinea teammates.
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Dinnery explained why the Merseysiders have no choice but to release him for assessment by national team doctors.
“There are different agendas here,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“The national team manager wants to win tournaments and matches, and Jurgen Klopp wants to retain those players and ensure that they are fit domestically.
“There is maybe a little bit of blind optimism here. From Klopp’s perspective, you’re working on an understanding that this type of injury will take a set amount of time.
“That is reflected in the fact that Keita wasn’t included in the Champions League squad.
“They are looking towards the rest of the season, so they might have been looking to see him return in mid-October. For the national team, it’s more about the short-term.
“There is a mandatory obligation to release these players. Often, these players are included in the national team even though the reality is that they are probably not going to be involved.
“If they don’t, they face the wrath of Fifa and disciplinary actions.
“You just hope that when players depart for international duty, the right decision are made and they return without any further setbacks.”