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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 23:25 GMT 00:25 UK
Okocha to retire
Okocha made his Nigeria debut in 1993
Okocha made his Nigeria debut in 1993
Nigeria midfielder Jay Jay Okocha has announced he will retire from international football after the England game on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old, who plays for Paris St Germain, said he wanted to give younger players a chance.

"This should be my last World Cup appearance. There is no doubt about that," he told Lagos newspaper This Day.

Open Quote
Nothing would have stopped me from quitting after the championship
Close Quote
Jay Jay Okocha
"I have to give the opportunity to the younger ones who are equally promising.

"It is painful that it ended this way but what can one do.

"This is a game of football and you can never know what will happen. Now it has gone this way."

Nigeria were eliminated from Group F in the World Cup after Friday's 2-1 defeat to Sweden. They play England on Wednesday in the final group game.

Okocha said he would have quit after this World Cup - no matter how far the team progressed.

"Nothing would have stopped me from quitting after the championship," he said.

Okocha made his debut for Nigeria against Sudan in 1993.

He was a member of the World Cup squads that reached the second round at USA 94 and France 98.

He also earned a winner's medal at the 1994 African Nations Cup in Tunisia and at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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