Wilfried Zaha, Yaya Toure pull out of Cote d’Ivoire friendlies

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The Elephants will be without the services of the Crystal Palace forward and Manchester City midfielder for their tuneup games this month

Wilfried Zaha and Yaya Toure have withdrawn from Cote d’Ivoire friendly games against Togo and Moldova in France.

The Elephants will play Togo at the Stade Municipal in Saint-Leu-la-Foret on March 24 before taking on Moldova at the Stade Pierre Brisson three days later.

The withdrawal of the two players initially included in Kamara Ibrahim’s 24-man list come as a huge blow for the west African nation who are looking to fortify their ranks after their World Cup qualifiers disappointment.

Zaha has been ruled out through injury, after taking ‘couple of little knocks’ in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last Saturday.

“Before the first match, there are reports of unavailability. The players are Gbamin Jean Philippe, Maxwell Cornet and Wilfried Zaha who are injured,” read a statement on the federation website.

Toure who was recalled to the national team fold after a three-year absence since he guided the Elephants to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations triumph will also be unavailable.

The former Barcelona star has opted out of this month's international duty due to family reasons.

This follows the announcement made by the Ivorian Football Federation that the 34-year-old was yet to report to the team’s training camp in France on Tuesday.

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"Sorry I cannot make the Ivory Coast games this international break. My family needs me at this moment and I hope the fans understand. I wish the team good luck!" Toure tweeted.

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