Zaha dropped from Cote D’Ivoire squad for Ghana and Burkina Faso friendlies

Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has been dropped from the Ivorian 24-man squad for next month’s international friendly matches.

Ivory Coast head coach Patrice Beaumelle named a 24-man squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Ghana and Burkina Faso, with the forward’s name missing.

While there is no official statement regarding Zaha’s omission, Sochaux goalscoring machine Chris Bedia has been handed his maiden invitation to the Ivory Coast national team after scoring nine goals in 35 Ligue 2 matches this season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Manchester United’s Amad Diallo have been included in the squad.

Diallo is joined in the selection by his brother Hamed Traore who plies his trade at Sassuolo, and 20-year-old Torino defender Wilfried Singo.

The Ivory Coast Football Federation has arranged friendlies to prepare the team for an upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which have been rescheduled to start in September.

The qualifiers had earlier been scheduled for next month but had to push forward by the football governing body, FIFA, citing the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

The Elephants are scheduled to play Burkina Faso in Abidjan on June 5 before travelling to Cape Coast to battle Ghana eight days later.

Ivory Coast are in Group D of the qualfiers alongside Cameroon, Mozambique and Malawi.

Full List

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe – DR Congo) Ali Sangare Badra (JDR Stars – South Africa).

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur – England) Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers – England) Wilfried Singo (Torino FC – Italy) Eric Bertrand Bailly (Manchester United – England) Diomande Sinaly (Olympique Lyon – France) Wilfried Kanon (Al Gharafa – Qatar) Hassane Kamara (OGC Nice – France) Odilon Kossounou (Club Brugge – Belgium) Maxwell Cornet (Olympique Lyon – France)

Midfielders: Serey Die Geoffroy (FC Sion – Switzerland) Sangare Ibrahim (PSV Eindhoven – Netherlands) Ismaila Wafougossani Soro (Celtic FC – Scotland) Franck Yannick Kessie (AC Milan – Italy) Serge Arnaud Aka (El Gouna – Egypt) Hamed Junior Traore (US Sassuolo – Italy) Max Alain Gradel (Sivasspor – Turkey) Amad Diallo Traore (Manchester United – England).

Forwards: Junior Lago (Real Mallorca – Spain) Sebastien Haller (Ajax Amsterdam – Netherlands) Christian Koffi Kouame (Fiorentina – Italy) Jeremie Boga (US Sassuolo – Italy) Chris Vianney Bedia (FC Sochaux – France).

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