AWOL Rabeh quitting football

SOFIA - Controversial Moroccan defender Youssef Rabeh, who has been missing from his new Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala since the weekend, broke his silence on Wednesday to say he was ending his career.

"I'm going to quit football, you'll not see me again," Rabeh told Bulgarian daily Meridian Match.

"I don't like it at Anzhi and as far as I know Levski will receive the money from my transfer.

"And just leave me alone," he added in a brief telephone conversation with a reporter from the paper, without revealing where he was.

Rabeh, 24, went missing from Anzhi's training camp in the Turkish resort of Antalya on Saturday, two weeks after joining the Russian Premier League newcomers from Bulgarian champions Levski Sofia.

Rabeh's agent reported his disappearance to world soccer's governing body FIFA and the Bulgarian and Moroccan football associations.

Levski have said they still want the transfer fee from Anzhi despite the player's disappearance.

"We're due to receive the transfer sum from Anzhi on Feb we signed a perfect contract," Levski's chief executive Konstantin Bazhdekov said on Tuesday. Neither club has disclosed the amount of the agreed fee.

Rabeh was involved in several off-the-field incidents during his spell with Levski and received a three-year suspended jail sentence for drunk driving.