Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Kevin Kampl has defended his decision to withdraw from the Slovenian national team after he was labelled as a ‘deserter’ in a statement released by his international teammates.
Kampl pulled out of the the Slovenia national team to face Slovakia and England in world cup qualifiers citing an infection and exhaustion.
The 25 year old’s actions were met with widespread criticism amongst his teammates who released the following statement:
“For the national team you play with pride and passion.
“Kevin is an important part of a team that needs him. So we have to say he deserted us. The national team has to be above all of us. We are united in this message to Kampl.”
Kampl has since gone on to defend his decision and clarify things.
“I would like to make some things clear. Firstly, I always play with pride and happiness for Slovenia and I intend to do so in the future.” Kampl told Ekipa24.
“Secondly, I have made it clear I will be available next time, I just need some rest now.
“Thirdly, I swear that at the moment I am not in the right condition to help Slovenia. Yes, I have trained in Leverkusen but only on my own and I am having some blood tests because I don’t feel good: I am exhausted. I wouldn’t have been able to help Slovenia like this and I stand by my decision.”