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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Balis ends Baggies career
Igor Balis
Balis is to return to Slovakia
West Brom defender Igor Balis has decided to quit the club because of a medical problem.

The right-back has suffered a recurrence of tinnitus - a condition he has suffered from previously which causes constant ringing in the ears.

Albion were in the process of attempting to renew the work permit of the 33-year-old player, but he is to now to return to his native Slovakia with his family.

Balis fears the problem would not allow him to cope with the rigours of English football and has reluctantly opted to end his spell at The Hawthorns.

Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace said: "Igor feels he couldn't give 120% for the club while he has this problem, only 70%, which he isn't happy with.

"With this in mind, he has decided to retire from English football and return to Slovakia. It's really sad to see him go. Igor has been a great servant to the club."

Balis etched his name in Albion folklore by converting a stoppage-time penalty at Bradford 15 months ago to fire the club within three points of the Premiership.

"He will always be remembered for that penalty at Bradford and will always be welcome back here," added Peace.

"We hope he makes a full recovery and we wish him and his family all the best in the future."


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