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Last of football old guard bows out

Defender Stéphane Grichting has given up international football after being relegated to the stands for the Switzerland-England match last Saturday.

Grichting – at 32 the oldest member of the Swiss team – has played for his country 45 times. His last appearance was at the Euro 2012 qualifying match against Bulgaria in March.

“When I learned that I would be in the stands and not even on the substitutes’ bench, I took that as a lack of respect,” Grichting told the French-language Le Matin newspaper. “You don’t just go from playing to not even being a substitute, without explanation.”

“I call that ‘pushing someone out’. I understood the message and drew my conclusions.”

“But I behaved professionally, and said nothing before the game. It was only after the final whistle that I went to say goodbye to the team.”

An injury has kept Grichting, who plays for the French side Auxerre, largely out of the game this season.

On Saturday Switzerland drew 2-2 with England at Wembley, keeping their qualifications hopes alive.


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