Ivory Coast coach Kamara Ibrahim named his provisional roster for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, without veteran striker Gervinho, sparking anger amongst fans and pundits.
The 32-year-old scored 11 goals and provided two assists for Italian Serie A side Parma in the just concluded campaign.
“I think Gervinho’s absence has nothing to do with his form or age. It is a result of some ongoing friction between the player and the FA officials,” Abdul Kapo, an Abidjan-based football pundit, told ACLsports.
“Gervinho is currently one of the best Ivorian players in Europe, and so, ignoring him because of personal issue is simply a shame.”
Former Manchester City striker Bony Wilfried returns to the Elephants after a long absence.
Ivory Coast will begin preparations for the tournament in Chantilly, northern France, on May 31, which will conclude with a friendly match against Comoros on June 7.
Thereafter, the coach will trim down the list to 23 before their trip to Abu Dhabi for a final camping from June 10 to 20, during which two friendly matches will be played against Uganda and Libya.
The Elephants are drawn against Morocco, South Africa and Namibia in Group D.
Sylvain Gbohouo, Tapé Ira, Ali Badra, Cissé Abdoul Karim
Serge Aurier, Wilfried Kanon, W. Coulibaly, Abdoulaye Bamba, Simon Deli, Traoré Ismael, M. Bagayoko, Komara Cherick
J.P Gbamin, Serey Dié, Seri Michael, Diomandé Ismaël, Angban Victorien, Franck Kessié, Sangaré Ibrahim
Max Alain Gradel, Nicolas Pépé, Wilfried Zaha, Jonathan Kodjia, Assalé Roger, Maxwell Cornet, Yohan Boli, Bony Wilfried