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Bosnia-Herzegovina call up Emir Spahic after retirement decision

Bosnia-Herzegovina have called up Bayer Leverkusen defender Emir Spahic -- who retired from international football after the World Cup.

The decision comes weeks after UEFA president Michel Platini said Franck Ribery -- despite announcing his retirement from international football in August -- could not refuse a France callup and, if he did, could face a three-match suspension for his club Bayern Munich.

Spahic called time on his international career after his country's first-ever World Cup, but kicker reported that the 34-year-old former skipper had been called up for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers by coach Safet Susic.

According to UEFA statues, Spahic will not be able to refuse, but kicker quoted Susic as saying: "Emir told me at the weekend that he would return -- otherwise I would not have called him up. I would never force him or make life difficult for him."

But that has come as a surprise to Leverkusen, who said he had not told them about any plans for an international comeback.

"It would be too early to say how we will react," Bayer Leverkusen media director Meinolf Sprink told SID. "Emir will now seek talks with our sporting management."

Rudi Voller, the Leverkusen sporting director, said: "Emir told us after the World Cup that he wants to fully focus on his club and make room for a younger generation in the Bosnia national team.

"That's why I am surprised by the callup, and I will discuss it with Emir in the next few days."

Ribery, speaking to kicker after making his return for Bayern following an injury layoff, said: "He [Platini] can voice his polemics -- I am not really interested in it. I decided to retire, and people have to accept that. I won't reconsider this decision."