Drogba named in Ivorian squad

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Drogba, who underwent knee surgery at the weekend, was included in a list compiled by coach Uli Stielike and released by the Ivorian Football Federation.

The Chelsea striker’s club manager Avram Grant said earlier this week that he expected Drogba to be out for three weeks, which would allow him to make the Nations Cup finals starting on January 20 in Ghana.

Drogba is one of 17 players retained from the 23-man Ivorian squad that finished runners-up at the last Nations Cup tournament in Egypt in 2006.

Goalkeeper Tiassa Kone from new Ivory Coast champions Africa Sports is the only home-based player in the squad. He is also the only uncapped player.

The Ivory Coast will contest Group B in Sekondi with Nigeria, Mali and Benin, at the tournament which runs through to February 10.

The squad is:

Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren, Belgium), Tiasse Kone (Africa Sports), Stephan Loboue (SpVgg Greuther Furth, Germany)

Defenders: Athur Boka (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV, Germany), Constant Djakpa (Pandurii Targu Jiu, Romania), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal, England), Steve Gohouri (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Abdoulaye Meite (Bolton Wanderers, England), Kolo Toure (Arsenal, England), Marc Zoro (Benfica, Portugal)

Midfielders: Emerse Fae (Reading, England), Christian Koffi Ndri (Le Mans, France), Siaka Tiene (St Etienne, France), Gilles Yapi Yapo (Young Boys Berne, Switzerland), Gneri Yaya Toure (Barcelona, Spain), Didier Zokora (Tottenham Hotspur, England)

Forwards: Aruna Dindane (Racing Lens, France), Amara Diane (Paris St Germain, France), Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (both Chelsea, England), Abdelkader Keita (Olympique Lyon, France), Arouna Kone (Sevilla, Spain), Bakary Kone (Nice, France), Gervais Yao Kouassi (Le Mans, France), Boubacar Sanogo (Werder Bremen, Germany).

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