Ivory Coast coach rejects City request

Man City will not be able to field Kolo and Yaya Toure for their FA Cup match against Man United says Ivory Coast coach.

    Kolo (pictured) and brother Yaya Toure will be missed by City while they are on African Nations duty [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui has rejected Manchester City's request to delay the arrival of Kolo and Yaya Toure for his African Nations Cup squad so they can play in Sunday's FA Cup third round derby against Manchester United.

    "Clubs know the rules," Zahoui told BBC Africa on Thursday.

    "I'm expecting them for the FIFA deadline," he said.

    "The national team in Ivory Coast is led by people who are well educated and I was surprised that people in England think that we don't know the FIFA rules about dates"

    Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui

    City had hoped the Toure brothers would be able to play against United before joining the Ivory Coast but Zahoui wants them to meet up with the rest of the squad in Paris on Saturday before they leave for a two-week training camp in Abu Dhabi.

    "The national team in Ivory Coast is led by people who are well educated and I was surprised that people in England think that we don't know the FIFA rules about dates," Zahoui said.

    As well as the Toure brothers, Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, Gervinho of Arsenal, Cheick Tiote of Newcastle United and Sol Bamba of Championship club Leicester City are also in the squad.

    Experienced Espanyol midfielder Romaric was a surprise omission from the team. 

    Romaric, who played in all three matches for the Ivorians at the World Cup finals in South Africa 18 months ago, failed to make the cut when the squad was announced at an Abidjan news conference.

    Instead Zahoui selected uncapped 28-year-old Marco Ne from Russian club Kuban Krasnodar.

    A total of 17 of the 23 players from the last World Cup are retained for the Nations Cup, giving the Elephants an air of
    consistency.

    Two players will be cut from the squad by the January 11 deadline for all 16 participants at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to name final selections for the three-week event.

    The tournament is being co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from January 21 to Febuary12

    SOURCE: Agencies


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