The Spanish FA have backed Gerard Pique over claims that he cut off the sleeves of his Spain top for comfort and not political purposes.
The central defender announced his retirement from the national team would be after the 2018 World Cup in Russia after being forced to defend himself from criticism that he had deliberately removed colours from the Spanish top, prompting rumours that he was sending a message that he would rather play for a Catalan national team.
However, the FA have stated that Pique simply used a short-sleeve top which did not sport La Roja's colours rather than a long-sleeved one, and even used captain Sergio Ramos' top as an example, whilst clarifying that the Barcelona defender did this for comfort during the game.
“I cut my shirt because the sleeves were too short and they bothered me,” he clarified after the match in Albania, when he had just announced his retirement date.
“It’s very tiring, I know what I did and have moved on. I’ve tried everything but can’t take any more. This with the sleeves is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“They’ve made sure that I’ve lost my enthusiasm for coming here.”