Cameroon midfielder, Alex Song has called time on his international football career nine years after making his debut.
The on-loan West Ham player has not featured for the ‘Indomitable Lions’ since being sent off against Croatia in the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has not been included in the squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Equatorial Guinea.
The Barcelona loanee flew back to his homeland to discuss his international future with the Cameroon Football Federation and the possibility of appearing in the continental showpiece. But such turnaround will not be the case after the 27-year-old announced in a statement released to Press Association Sport that “I have taken the decision to retire from international football.”
He continued: “My love for my country will never change but I want to take time to focus purely on domestic football and start to rebuild my career at West Ham United. I wish Cameroon all the best and the team will always be in my heart.”
Song has made 49 appearances for Cameroon. His last match culminated with him getting a straight red card for striking Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic in the back with his elbow in an off-the-ball incident before half time. Cameroon lost that match 4-0 and were knocked out of the group stages with no point and only one goal.
Song was handed a three-match ban for the elbow incident, and missed Cameroon’s final group match against Brazil, which they lost 4-1.
He arrived at West Ham on a season-long loan from Barca having grown frustrated at the Spanish club due to lack of playing time.
He has impressed the Upton Park outfit, with manager Sam Allardyce recently confirming he hopes to tie the ex-Arsenal man down on a long-term basis.
The ‘Hammers’ are only five points behind third-placed Manchester United in seventh place and have won only one of their last five games.