Lennon puts family first - full statement

This is what Glasgow Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon told Ulster Television’s Sports Editor Adrian Logan before returning to his club:

This is what Glasgow Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon told Ulster Television’s Sports Editor Adrian Logan before returning to his club:

“My parents were pretty distraught really. I’ve got a 10-year-old daughter who knows nothing about this at the minute and we’re going to try to keep her away from it as much as we can.

“Obviously I can’t put them through this every time, you know, so, I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve decided that I probably won’t be going back to play for Northern Ireland.

“It’s not only my parents and my family that I have to think about.

“I’ve got to think about the team and the focus is taken away from the team altogether when things like this happen, and it’s not the first time it’s happened, obviously, so I don’t want to keep being the focus of media attention for the wrong reasons.

“It’s a decision that I’ve thought long and hard about previously, and this time I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably for the best for everybody.

“The game will go on, it will continue. There was, I think, 6,000 at the game last night.

“The lads are a terrific bunch of lads and they did really well last night and I’ve enjoyed my career at international level but it’s time for me to say enough’s enough.

“I don’t blame the IFA one bit for this and Sammy McIlroy was magnificent with me throughout it.

“He said if it was his son in the same position he’d do exactly the same thing and he backed me on that and I can’t thank him enough for that, because obviously it was difficult for him, a difficult position for him to be in again, and he had to restructure the whole team around it.

“This can’t go on and obviously the buck will stop with me eventually and I don’t want it to drag on any more and that’s why I want to nip it in the bud as quickly as I can.”

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