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Kezman quits national team

Published: Tuesday 18 February 2003, 16.05CET
Mateja Kezman has said that "he will not play in the forseeable future" for Serbia and Montenegro.

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Published: Tuesday 18 February 2003, 16.05CET

Kezman quits national team

Mateja Kezman has said that "he will not play in the forseeable future" for Serbia and Montenegro.

Mateja Kezman has announced that "he will not play in the forseeable future" for Serbia and Montenegro after the "humiliating" 2-2 draw against Azerbaijan in their UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier last week.

Decision made
PSV Eindhoven striker Kezman told uefa.com that he has already informed the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro (FSSCG) president Dragan Stojkovic of his decision.

'Huge differences'
Stojkovic was understandably surprised by the decision of the 24-year-old, who has played 27 matches and scored ten goals for the national side. He said: "Our conversation lasted five minutes. He told me he would withdraw from the national team because of the huge differences in his play for PSV and the national team. I advised him to calm down and think again but he has made up his mind. He could not answer my question about when he would play again."

Unconditional support
The FSSCG Executive Committee last weekend gave their unconditional support to coach Dejan Savicevic, despite the home draw with Azerbaijan in Podgorica. Stojkovic added: "I told Kezman that he should not feel responsible for the result against Azerbaijan - we all have to be held responsible, me, the coach and all the players."

'Key match'
Serbia and Montenegro play their next EURO 2004™ qualifier against Wales in Belgrade on 2 April. "I do not care if Savicevic calls up Kezman or someone else for the Wales match. I just want a victory," Stojkovic said. "This is a key match for us as a loss of points would mean goodbye to EURO 2004™ and that would be catastrophic. In that case some heads would have to roll."

Last updated: 18/02/03 17.16CET

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