I’d rather quit international football than miss a Town match – Sonko

IBRAHIMA Sonko has admitted he would rather retire from international football than miss a match for Ipswich Town.

The Senegalese international has been a revelation since his free transfer in August – so much so that it has been suggested he might receive a call-up for the African Cup of Nations and miss four weeks of the season.

But Sonko, who is a big doubt for Saturday’s match at Crystal Palace with a hamstring injury, has said he would turn down any advances from his country rather than try and add to his four caps.

The big defender said: “It would be nice to get the call-up but even if I did, I would probably turn it down. I’m not really interested in that any more.

“It used to be a thing I would dream about as a kid. Now I have done it and it was great. I will always support them but when it comes to playing, I would rather just stay here.

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“It won’t happen and if it did, I think I would just retire from international football to avoid any problem with FIFA. I don’t want to be someone who refuses to play, I would just retire. But for now, I don’t need to retire as I haven’t been called up.”

Sonko has been a mainstay in Town’s six-match unbeaten run but he pulled up in the 1-0 win over Portsmouth on Tuesday night clutching his left hamstring.

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Jewell admitted after the match that the defender was a doubt for the weekend with Damien Delaney, who came on against Pompey, and the fit-again Ivar Ingimarsson waiting in the wings.

Sonko, who barely trained during his first six weeks at the club, has already shown amazing powers of recovery and will do everything he can to get himself fit for the visit of high-flying Palace.

And speaking before the Portsmouth match, he said: “The medical staff have done a wonderful job here. Whatever problem I have had, they have found a solution to it to make sure I can keep playing.

“When you have people around you doing their best for you, you want to give something back. It was the case when I was at Reading. They have managed me perfectly and made sure I am ready for every game.”

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