Wilfred Zaha rejects Ivory Coast call-up; says he feels sick anytime he plays for national team

Wilfred Zaha has rejected a call-up to the Ivory Coast national team after claiming he feels ill every time he returns from the international break.

Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle has named a 25-man squad for the country’s upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon.

Zaha, however, missed out on a place in the squad, with Beaumelle explaining that the winger turned down a call-up.

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According to him, the Crystal Palace star is also considering his international future with the two-time Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions.

“He asked not to come because he becomes home sick at each break. He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career,” Beaumelle said when he announced his squad.

Zaha played for England during his youth career but switched nationality to play for the Ivory Coast in 2016.

He has since played 21 matches for the Elephants, including featuring at the 2017 and 2019 AFCON tournaments.

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The 28-year-old has also netted five times for his country and is one of the team’s key players as they prepare for next year’s AFCON in Cameroon.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira believes there has been a miscommunication regarding Zaha’s intentions for the national team.

Speaking in the aftermath of Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wolves – a game which Zaha scored in – he noted that the winger loves playing for his country.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha

“He made it clear to myself about how much he loves playing for the national team and how proud he would be to go to the World Cup with Ivory Coast,” Vieira stated.

“He still wants to go to the international stage. I was quite surprised to see all these comments coming out in the last couple of days.

“What I know is that he still wants to go to internationals. We will support him and now it is up to the manager to make the decision about who will go,” he added.

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