After rampant speculation in Abidjan about Didier Drogba’s probable retirement from the national team, the 20-man squad published on Friday by new coach Francois Zahoui confirmed what many Ivorians had been feeling.
Drogba had been left out of the squad that downed Italy in an international friendly in London earlier this month following a groin injury from which he was recuperating. But now fit, strong and playing regularly with Chelsea, he will not feature against Rwanda, even after a summons letter was sent to him, according to reports.
Neither Drogba nor the FA gave reasons for his absence, but sports journalists across the West African nation are suggesting that the Chelsea talisman wants to bring his international career to an end.
Manchester City’s Kolo Toure will captain the team against Rwanda in Yamoussoukro on September 4.
The complete Ivory Coast squad list for the match is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Copa Barry (Lokeren), Daniel Yeboah (ASEC Abidjan).
Defenders: Kolo Toure (Manchester City), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart), Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes), Didier Zokora (FC Seville), Souleymane Bamba (Hibernian), Steve Gohouri (Wigan), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (FC Twente), Kafoumba Coulibaly (OGC Nice), Emerse Fae (OGC Nice), Kouamatien Koné (CFR Cluj), Romaric N’Dri (Sevilla).
Forwards: Yannick Sagbo (AS Monaco), Gervinho (Lille), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow).