Georgia captain Kakha Kaladze has quit the national team to help a new political movement against president Mikheil Saakashvili.
Kaladze, who plays for Genoa in Italy's Serie A, said he was quitting the national team in protest against the authorities, Georgia's Interpressnews reported.
"It was a difficult decision but I had to do it," Kaladze was quoted as saying.
Kaladze, 33, joined several thousand people in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Sunday to attend the first public meeting of the 'Georgian Dream' movement led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The Georgian football association expressed disappointment with the decision by the 33-year-old defender who won the UEFA Champions League with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima retained its J.League title with a 2-0 win over Kashima Antlers on Saturday as league leader Yokohama Marinos blew its chance on the final day of the season.