Didier Drogba was dropped from Cote D’Ivoire’s squad to face Gambia on Saturday in the 2014 World Cup qualifying, but the Elephants coach Sabri Lamouchi has reassured the talisman would return to help the outfit qualify for the tournament.
Rumours quickly spread across Cote D’Ivoire during the weekend that the former Chelsea player had retired from international football following his exclusion from the roster.
Some local editorialists saluted the Frenchman’s courage to sideline the onetime indispensable striker, while others said Drogba deserved more respect for all he had done for the nation.
Lamouchi however justified his decision at a press conference on Monday in Abidjan that he wanted the 35-year-old player to regain his top form at his new club Galatasaray before inviting him for future hostilities.
“Within eight months Drogba played for three clubs in three continents. This affected his form, and it is visible. He is currently working hard at his new club Galatasaray to recover his form,” Lamouchi said.
“Drogba’s absence does not mean any humiliation. He will come back to the fold and help us qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup,” he added.
The Elephants will take on visiting Scorpions of Gambia at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Saturday March 23.