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Zaha rejects Ivory Coast call-up for World Cup qualifiers

Zaha rejects Ivory Coast call-up for World Cup qualifiers

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has turned down a call-up to the Ivory Coast national team for this month’s World Cup Qualifiers and is considering his international future.

The 28-year-old attacker gets homesick during each international break, national team boss Patrice Beaumelle revealed on Thursday, after he did not name Zaha in his 25-man squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon.

Zaha has played just three matches for the Elephants in 2021 and did not feature for his country in the June and September international breaks but could now call time on his Ivory Coast career.

He asked not to come because he becomes home sick at each break,’ said Beaumelle after announcing his squad without Zaha in it. ‘He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career.’

Zaha has made 20 international appearances for the Ivory Coast, scoring five times since switching allegiance from England in 2016.

The 28-year-old has played in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments for his country, in 2017 and 2019, and is considering his international future just two months before the next edition of the competition starts in January.

Zaha played youth international football for England and was called up by former Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson for friendlies against Sweden and Scotland in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

However, he was not handed an England recall for three years after his two substitute cameo appearances under Hodgson – with the winger switching allegiance to Ivory Coast when Gareth Southgate became boss.

The Crystal Palace icon was able to switch international teams as he had not played in a competitive match for England when the decision was made.

Since changing his international team to the Ivory Coast, Zaha has scored 42 Premier League goals in just over 150 matches for the Eagles.

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