Northern Ireland’s Neil Lennonhas confirmed that he will retire from international football after receiving a death threat prior to the yesterday’s friendly match with Cyprus.

Speaking to BBC Northern Ireland, the Celtic midfielder was saddened by what happened.

‘It’s a real pity that it all has to end like this,’ said Lennon.

‘Obviously I can’t put them (his family) through this every time. So I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve decided that I probably won’t be going back to play for Northern Ireland,” he said.

Lennon, who was due to captain the side, received the threat from a paramilitary group shortly before kick-off and decided to pull out of the match on police advice.

Earlier today Loyalist Volunteer Force, who allegedly made the call to the BBC, denied making any threat.

Lennon was the also target of sectarian abuse when Northern Ireland played Norway last year.