AC Milan star Kevin-Prince Boateng has written to the Ghanaian Football Federation (GFA) to say he will not play in next year's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
According to the GFA, Boateng said he could no longer cope with the demands of playing for both his club and his country, for whom he starred at the 2010 World Cup finals when they reached the quarter-finals.
"The GFA received a letter from K.-P. Boateng announcing he was retiring from international football," a spokesperson for the GFA said.
"According to Kevin, playing for both club and country at the highest level is too demanding on his health."
Boateng was born in Germany but unlike his half-brother, Bayern Munich defender Jerome, he opted for Ghana rather than the German national side.
A delegation from the Ghanaian federation did travel to Milan in mid-October to try and persuade him to play in the African showpiece.
However, if Boateng had gone to play for them he would have missed five weeks of the Serie A programme, including the Milan derby with Inter on January 15.
His absence is a serious blow to the 'Black Stars' hopes of winning the continental championship, which they have won four times, although none since 1982.