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Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Monday, 28 March 2011 22:55 UK

England hit by Katie Chapman retirement

By Tony Leighton

Katie Chapman
Chapman's international retirement may not be permanent

England Women's World Cup hopes have been hit by Katie Chapman's shock retirement from international football.

While the Arsenal midfielder says the hiatus may not be permanent, Chapman admits she is struggling to balance family commitments with football.

Chapman, who recently returned from a spell at Chicago Red Stars, has withdrawn from the side due to face the United States in a World Cup warm-up.

"I was surprised by Katie's decision," said England coach Hope Powell.

"But her family commitments are very demanding and I totally understand that.

"It's tough for Katie to leave her children and, with Arsenal playing in the Champions League as well as the new Women's Super League that's about to start, she felt that she needed a break from international football.

"It's a pity but we can't harp on about it - we move on and this gives someone else the chance to stake a claim for a place in the England team."

Everton striker Natasha Dowie has been called into Powell's squad to replace Chapman as England prepare to face the US at Leyton Orient on Saturday evening.

It will be the penultimate friendly fixture on home soil for the national side ahead of the World Cup finals, which are set to be played in Germany during June and July.

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see also
Olympics need a GB team - White
26 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Chapman completes Arsenal switch
01 Oct 10 |  Women
Chapman completes Chicago switch
02 Dec 09 |  Women

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