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Hall hangs up internation boots

PAUL HALL, one of the four original "UB40" members -- Reggae Boyz who were brought up in England but decided to play for Jamaica -- told The Gleaner yesterday that he has ended his international career.

Hall's decision to part ways with the Reggae Boyz outfit was prompted by a club versus country dilemma, which was affecting his chances of getting a new contract.

"At the end of last season all the teams that I was getting involved with asked if I would be playing for the national team. When I said yes they said they could not be interested because I would be away for a good part of the campaign.

"That is how it is now. They do not want you flying halfway around the world. Gradually the standard of the teams that would consider me were getting lower. I was looking at the top of the First Division and Premier League teams initially then after the international they just backed out," said Hall.

After coming to the end of a contract with English club Walsall last season, the 28-year-old Hall was available to sign with any club on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling, but said clubs backed off as soon as he outlined his interest to continue playing for Jamaica.

"Under the Bosman ruling they said there are 500 players like yourself who will not be called up for international duties by their countries and though we appreciate that you are a good player, we could go in and get one of them," explained Hall. "So I was left in a situation and I had to take a stand and said I would not be playing for the national team again so I could say that I have retired," he continued.

-Nodley Wright

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