Everton manager David Moyes insists that the club did not put any pressure on Steven Pienaar to retire from international football.
Pienaar, 30, announced at the start of the week that he would no longer be playing for South Africa again, telephoning manager Gordon Igesund to inform him of the decision.
The midfielder caused controversy in September when he pulled out of Igesund's first games in charge of South Africa against Brazil and Mozambique, due to inury, only to play for Everton days later.
But Moyes has made clear Pienaar's decision was nothing to do with the club and that he would have been happy for the player to continue playing for his country.
"We never discourage players from figuring for their international teams, ever," Moyes said. "I actually think it's good, especially for a club such as Everton, where you get as many international players as you possibly can. So from our point of view, Steven's retiring was nothing to do with us whatsoever. It was his own decision, his own choice."
Moyes has also suggested that the former Tottenham man's need to manage a groin problem was a contributing factor.
"He has got a little bit of a problem with his groin, which he has to keep right now," he added. "So it was his own decision, and we support him totally if that's what he chooses to do."