Injury forces Niemi to retire

Fulham's Finnish goalkeeper Antti Niemi announced his retirement on Wednesday after conceding defeat in the fight to return from a wrist injury.

Niemi, who joined Fulham in January 2006 and made 62 appearances, has been sidelined with the injury during pre-season and wouldn't have been able to play for another two months.

The 36-year-old, who won 67 international caps, was planning to hang up his gloves at the end of the season and the injury accelerated his decision.

"My plan was always to finish my career after this contract, which runs out next summer," he told Fulham's website.  "Due to my wrist injury it would be another two months before I could start training again.

"I asked the club for their views. I was very grateful that they understood where I was coming from and thankfully we settled the contract. So it's come a little bit earlier than I expected."

Niemi also played for Southampton, Rangers and Hearts during 11 years in the British game.