Cote d'Ivoire unveil World Cup provisional squad

The Elephants' coach has named an initial 28-man list for the World Cup, with an additional space for two more players due to injury fears

Cote d'Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi has published his 28 man provisional squad for the World Cup, but said he could bring in two more players before drawing the final list of 23.

Most of the Elephants’ veterans feature on the list, to be led by captain Didier Drogba, whose team-mate at Galatasaray Emmanuel Eboue and Tiene Siaka of French side Montpellier were not included due to technical reasons, according to the coach.

Gervinho, Salomon Kalou, Cheick Tiote and both Yaya and Kolo Toure are included in the squad.

The team will hold preparations in the USA from May 20 until June 6, during which they will play two friendly matches against Bosnia on May 30 and Salvador on June 4 in Dallas before flying to Brazil.

The French coach expressed his fears about the form of the team’s most influential player, Yaya Toure, as well as Drogba, following injury concerns, but assured he would let both men have enough rest before the tournament kicks off.

In Group C alongside Colombia and Greece, Cote d'Ivoire will open their campaign against Japan, the fourth member of the group, which Lamouchi said would be their most difficult game as opposed to Colombia, considered top favourites of the lot.

The coach called on all Ivorians to support the team, amid grudges that he lacks the required experience to lead such a star studded team to a World Cup tournament.

Cote d’Ivoire sports minister Alain Lobognon last week invited the local media and fans to let the coach in peace in order for him to focus on the task ahead.

Cote D'Ivoire Squad: 

Goalkeepers: Barry Boubacar, Sylvain Gbohouo, Sayouba Mande, Badra Ali Sangare

Defenders: Akpa Akpro, Serge Aurier, Arthur Boka, Viera Diarrassouba, Brice Dja Djedje, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora, Sol Bamba, Benjamin Angoua 

Midfielders: Serey Die, Ismael Diomande, Cheick Tiote, Yaya Toure, Didier Ya Konan, Constant Djakpa, Max-Alain Gradel

Forwards: Mathis Bolly, Wilfried Bony, Didier Drogba, Seydou Doumbia, Salomon Kalou, Giovanni Sio, Gervinho, Lacina Traore