September 30 - Ireland's Katie Taylor (pictured) said today that she plans to give up playing international football at the end of this season to concentrate on her preparations for London 2012, where women's boxing will make its debut on the Olympic programme.

Taylor helped Ireland beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying match last week only four days after winning her fourth consecutive European lightweight title in Nikalaev City, Ukraine.

She had only received a call-up to the match the previous evening.

Taylor said: "The manager [Noel King] just rang me the night before the match actually and just asked me to come down that day.

"I wasn't doing anything, so I thought I might as well meet up with the squad.

"I didn't really expect to get on at all.

"It was a busy few days for me alright, but, hopefully, I can get back into the football for the next few weeks as well, because there are two World Cup qualifiers coming up against Russia and Kazakhstan, so that's the next event for me."

But even if her efforts were enough to help the team reach the finals in 2011 in Germany, it is likely that Taylor would not be able to join her team-mates.

She said: "I probably wouldn't be able to play in them.

"This is probably going to be my last year playing football.

"It would be hard not to play in the finals if I had helped the team qualify."

Taylor, the reigning world champion and AIBA 2008 world female boxer of the year, is considered to be one of the outstanding favourites for a gold medal at London 2012.

She said: "I always say, 'This is my last year playing football,' but here I am again still playing!

"It is going to be hard, but I have to be sensible and concentrate on the Olympics."

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