Lennon could quit after death threat

UK,Aug 22: Neil Lennon is weighing up his internatioanl future after he was forced to withdraw from the friendly with Cyprus following a threat on his life.

UK,Aug 22: Neil Lennon is weighing up his internatioanl future after he was forced to withdraw from the friendly with Cyprus following a threat on his life.
The death threat, which came from a paramilitary group, left Lennon distraught.

"I am very disappointed that my desire to play for my country, and captain my team, has been taken away from me," Lennon said.

Lennon is said to be considering his international future, but there are doubts whether the player will represent his country again.

The Irish manager Sammy McIlroy was hopeful, and said: "We will do our utmost to get Neil back, we will be doing our best.

"But obviously it is up to Neil. This is not the first time he has been under scrutiny like this."

Jim Boyce, president of the Irish Football Association (IFA), had similar sentiments: ''I seriously hope that Neil will come back and play for his country,'' he said.

''But at this point in time it is a very difficult question to answer.

''The only man to answer that is Neil Lennon himself.

''Death threats in Northern Ireland have to be taken seriously, whether it is a prank or not."

The threat was strongly condemned by politicians and football officials.

Northern Ireland security minister Jane Kennedy said: "A handful of sectarian bigots have disgraced Northern Ireland in the eyes of the world."

And Boyce called on politicians to find a solution to the problems.

"What makes me very angry is that every night on television I see the highly-paid politicians coming on with blame and counter-blame with what is happening on our streets.

Bureau Report

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