Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs has spoken out detailing reasons for his decision to retire from international football ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifers against Ethiopia and Botswana next month, according to a report on SuperSport's website.
Josephs dropped a bombshell on Tuesday as he announced he was withdrawing from the squad that is currently in camp in Rustenburg. He did not give reasons at that stage but mounting speculation forced the player to come out.
Below is an unedited statement as sent from the player:
"I have been fortunate to be a part of the South African national football team for the past nine years. I have represented South Africa on 22 occasions. On each of these occasions I have been proud and honoured to represent our Rainbow Nation.
"It is with a heavy heart, and after careful consideration and discussion with both my family and manager, that I have elected to retire from international football with immediate effect.
"At the age of 32, keeping in mind the injuries that I have sustained, together with my desire to prolong my career, and considering the fantastic young goalkeepers in our country, I believe that it is the correct time to 'step aside'. In addition, I have spent very little time with my family in recent years, and I believe this decision will give me the opportunity to do so.
"I would like to thank SAFA and all the managerial coaching staff for the honour and privilege they have afforded me by representing our national soccer team.
"I wish Pitso and the boys all the very best in their upcoming qualifiers!"