Catalan support pushes Spain's Pique to quit international football?
- Pique was accused of tearing his sleeve to avoid wearing a band with national colours.
- The incident happened during Spain's qualifier match against Albania on Sunday.
- Pique has decided to retire from international football after FIFA World Cup 2018 at Russia.
FC Barcelona and Spain's star defender, Pique has decided to quit international football at the end of FIFA World Cup 2018 at Russia.
Pique played in Spain's 2-0 win against Albania in the World Cup qualifiers on Sunday. The Spanish football jersey usually has the Spanish flag on the sleeve.
Pique, who tore his sleeve during that game, faced heavy criticism for cutting the sleeve to avoid wearing the band with national colours. The Spanish fans attacked the Barcelona star on social media. The Spanish FA immediately released a report defending Pique.
"The RFEF wishes to explain that said band on the Adidas jersey only exists in the short sleeve version, and not on the long sleeve, which is the one Piqué used in the match. The absence of the bands can be seen on the intact version of the jersey worn by teammate Sergio Ramos, who did use the long sleeve.
"Gerard Piqué cut the sleeve with the sole aim of playing more comfortably, the same way other players have done on many occasions," the release added.
The 29-year-old footballer, who was a part of Spain's side that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, told BBC, "I have tried everything, but I can't bear this anymore. Today's issue of the sleeves is the straw that breaks the camel. They've managed to make me lose the excitement of coming here, and however after Russia, I'll be 31 so, I'll leave."