West Ham defender retires from international duty

West Ham United defender Guy Demel West Ham United’s Guy Demel has called time on his eight-year international career with Cote d’Ivoire in order to concentrate on his club’s current Premier League campaign.

Originally a French citizen, Demel acquired his Ivorian passport in 2004 and went onto make 35 appearances for Les Elephants, featuring in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup.

Having missed a considerably large part of the Hammers’ promotion campaign through injury, news of Demel’s international retirement comes as a firm statement of commitment to the club’s current Premier League campaign.

“I have decided to quit international football and it was not an easy decision for me,” said Demel.

“Last season I was injured a lot and I want to prepare and make sure I perform for West Ham in the Premier League,” the right-back continued.

Demel, 31, feels that age was a factor in his decision, noting that “it is right to quit,” allowing him to concentrate on progressing with West Ham without any extra national team duties to fulfil.

“I have enjoyed playing for my country and going to the 2006 and 2010 World Cup [with] my country means a great deal to me.”

The defender later expressed his hope for the continued success of the national team, wishing that “they do well at the Africa Cup of Nations.”