Ivory Coast exclude Drogba, Eboue from AFCON squad – Toure brothers named

Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard has excluded Didier Drogba and two other top stars from his 23-man squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations.

The Frenchman also excluded Didier Zokora and Emmanuel Eboue from his team for the tournament to be staged in Equatorial Guinea next month.

Drogba had retired and pressure mounted for him to return but after it became clear he had no intention of rescinding his decision Renard named his squad without him.

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure will join his brother Manchester City’s Yaya in the Ivory Coast squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

The Reds defender will retire from international duty after the January tournament, some 15 years after winning his first cap for the Elephants.

Toure has been included in the country’s squad for the final time after Herve Renard announced his selection for the Africa Cup of Nations last night.

The Liverpool defender announced earlier this month that he would go into international retirement following the finals in Equatorial Guinea, after making more than 100 appearances for his country.

Toure has enjoyed something of a return to form in recent weeks for Liverpool, and his loss will be felt at Anfield.

Toure is joined in the squad by his brother, the Manchester City talisman Yaya. His absence will be a blow to Manuel Pellegrini’s champions as they look to overhaul Chelsea.

Other Premier League stars who have been called up by Renard include Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, and Newcastle’s midfield enforcer Cheik Tiote.

Eboue who has had a torrid season with lack of playing time will not have a chance to reinvent himself in a bid to turn around his fortunes at the tournament.

The team will pitch camp in Abu Dhabi from 5-16 January, 2015 ahead of re competition where they will be based in Malabo.

The finals begin on January 17, with the Elephants’ first Group D fixture coming against Guinea on January 20.

Renard’s men will then take on Mali and Cameroon, as they look to claim a first title since 1992.

Defender Brice Dja Djedje has not been named after the Marseille man reportedly said he wanted to focus on playing for his club side.

The list was revealed on Monday evening by Ivory Coast FA in what saw the country among the last countries to submit their squad, apart from Equatorial Guinea, DR Congo and Guinea.

Ivory Coast squad:

Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Mande (Staebek)

Defenders: Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain) Eric Bertrand Bailly (Espanyol), Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag), Sakia Tiene (Montpelier), Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Ousmane Viera (Rizespor)

Midfielders: Roger Assale (Sewe Sport), Serey Die (Basle), Ismael Diomande (St Etienne), Cheick Doukoure (Metz), Max Gradel (St Etienne), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Forwards: Wilfried Bony (Swansea City), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), Gervinho (Roma), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin), Junior Tallo (Bastia), Lacina Traore (Monaco).