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Israel midfielder Revivo quits national team

© Reuters 2002

JERUSALEM Feb 18 (Reuters) - Midfielder Haim Revivo has quit the Israeli national team to concentrate on his club and family.

Revivo, who will be 30 on Friday, told the mass circulation Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot that he could no longer juggle his commitments for Turkish club Fenerbahce, the national team and his family.

He said that he had come to the decision over the past few months. His international retirement will come as another blow to a side recovering from a 7-1 defeat by Germany last week when he was substituted in the 70th minute.

"Over time I have found it difficult to combine my commitments to the demanding Turkish league, the national team and to my family. I have simply begun to feel it emotionally and physically," Revivo said.

The midfielder said that Israel's failure to beat Austria in Tel Aviv last November for World Cup finals qualification had been turning point.

"I began to consider quitting (the national team) after the draw with Austria. It is one of the most difficult - if not the most difficult - decisions I have ever had to make," he said.

Revivo said that he did not think that he would change his mind over in the coming days. "This is not a spur-of-the-moment decision which has come after any specific match," he said as he related to Israel's humiliating 7-1 defeat by Germany in a friendly last week. "I simply feel that my time has come," he continued.

Revivo, who has 56 international appearances and has scored 12 times for Israel, said that he intended to speak to Israel Football Association chairman Gavri Levy and national coach Richard Moller Nielsen. "I'm sure that they will understand this move," he said.

However, IFA spokesman Shaul Eisenberg told Reuters on Monday that no phone conversation had yet taken place and he could not say whether one was expected.

"It's not our job to initiate these kinds of conversations, we'll wait and see if he calls," the spokesman said.

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