New Delhi: National football coach Savio Medeira on Wednesday clarified that he has rested Climax Lawrence and not dropped, a decision that prompted the veteran midfielder to announce his retirement from international football.
Hurt at being ignored from the 30-men probable for the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal, Climax on Tuesday decided to end his decade-long international career.
"I didn`t drop him; rather I rested him. In a tournament such as the AFC Challenge Cup, you ought to play every alternate day. The recovery time stays minimal. He has been playing regularly in the I-League and for the last decade, his body has taken a toll. Hence, he didn`t figure in my plans for the AFC Challenge Cup. I did speak to him prior to my decision," Medeira said.
The national coach, under whom India won the SAFF Championship last December, said that the player can always come back from retirement.
"I`ve heard Climax has announced his retirement. But to me retirement is just a word. There have been so many players who have come out of retirement to play again. He would be playing club football in any case. If he stays physically and mentally tough, he can always play for the nation," he said.
Climax on Tuesday said that a senior player like him is not treated in such a manner.
Talking about the defending champions` chance in AFC Challenge Cup, Medeira said, "Such tournaments are very tricky. A good start can always work wonders. We need to stay in the right frame of mind and stay free of injuries. This is a tough bunch. I keep my fingers crossed."
The Indian team would be undergoing a preparatory camp in Dubai before the tournament.
"The facilities in Dubai facilitate good football. We have been getting good exposure in recent years and prior to such a vital tournament, such a tour would help us immensely. We would be playing one international friendly against Oman and possibly another against some other country."