Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba is a shock omission from the Ivory Coast 28-man squad that will face Gambia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier next Saturday which could spell an end to his international career.
The former Chelsea star was part of the Galatasaray side that qualified for the last eight of the Champions League this week after defeating Schalke 4-3 on aggregate and the Cote d’Ivoire team captain was expected to be included for the match.
Drogba, who has won 95 caps for his country, has previously had frosty relations with the current Elephants coach Sabri Lamouchi and was even dropped for a match during their recent Africa Cup of Nations failure.
The Ivorian FA are yet to give a reason behind the 35-year-old’s absence but it is thought that they were worried about his levels of fitness after his unsuccessful stint in China with Shanghai Shenhua and he is also paying for his disappointing form in the recent South African tournament.
The legendary Stamford Bridge striker is not the only one who has missed out on selection in the squad announced tonight with fellow Galatasaray defender Emmanuel Eboue also out of the qualifier in Abidjan.
The Ivorians currently lead World Cup Group C with four points from their two games and Drogba has vowed to lead his country to the 2014 World Cup in what will be his last international assignment.