Lazio: Lazio's French footballer Abdoulay Konko says he rejected international call-ups from Senegal and Morocco to avoid tension within his family.
Konko was born in France to a Senegalese father and a Moroccan mother, making him eligible to play for the three countries at international level.
"I've been called by Morocco and Senegal but I respectfully turned them down because I wouldn't want to hurt either of my parents by choosing one over the other," the 31-year-old defender was quoted as saying by BBC on Sunday.
"It's a tough decision because you don't want to create tension in the family. So, I decided to stay neutral. To some it sounds like a lazy excuse. But I love my parents and I prefer to spare them the agony of backlash from disappointed fans," said the former Juventus player.
"If I had chosen Senegal, fans from Morocco would have definitely criticised my decision, same for disappointed Senegalese. So, it's a no-win situation."
With the international window winding down for him and a loud silence from the snubbed African duo, Konko insists he has no regrets whatsoever.
"You live and die by your decisions as a man, so there is no regret on my part. Interestingly, I read in the past that I was actually waiting for a France call-up, but that's absolutely untrue," he added.
He joined Lazio on a five-year deal in the summer of 2011 and won the Italian Cup with the Rome side in 2013.