FRANCIS DOE AXED: DEBBAH RECALLS TISDELL, WLEH, KEITA TO FACE IVORY COAST
Malaysia-based striker Francis Grandpa Doe dropped from a 15-man squad to face Ivory Coast in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers
Written by Danesius Marteh, Danesius.Marteh@Frontpageafricaonline.com
Monrovia - Liberia head coach James Salinsa Debbah has omitted Malaysia-based striker Francis Grandpa Doe from a 15-man squad to face Ivory Coast in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The first leg takes place at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on November 13 and the return leg is in Abidjan on November 17. Doe last played in the 1-1 draw with Guinea Bissau on October 8 at the ATS but missed the return leg on October 13 due to “family reasons”.
In the build-up to that game, Doe had a training ground burst-up with Barbu Kollie of Nimba United. Angry with Doe, Debbah inquired from the touchline as to whether the NX Matrix striker has “brains”. Even angrier, Doe walked-off the pitch and needed security protection to escape the wrath of angry spectators, who “wanted to teach him a lesson”.
When many thought Debbah would have disciplined Doe, he was named in the starting IX and even ended the match with a dip in form. Doe was dropped few hours to departure for Bissau when Debbah reportedly walked into his room and told him that he will not be part of the traveling delegation because he has a problem with his wife. Debbah hasn’t been able to explain why Doe was dropped from the squad.
There were recalls for Patrick Wleh of PKNS in Malaysia, Tonia Tisdell of Osmanlispor in Turkey and Alseny Keita of Viry Châtillon Entente Sportive in the French Championnat de France Amateur (fourth division) as midfielders Abel Gebor and Marcus Macaulay were ignored. The squad is expected to move to camp on Tuesday at the Executive Lodge hotel.
Defenders: Dirkir Glay of Gor Mahia in Kenya; Gizzie Dorbor of Hapoel Afula in Israel; Teah Dennis of Al Ahli Sports Club in Jordan; Solomon Grimes of Nea Salamis in Cyprus and unattached Adolphus Marshall.
Midfielders: Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa; Alseny Keita of Viry Châtillon ES in France; Zah Krangar of Felda United and Patrick Gerhart of Sarawak in Malaysia; Sekou Conneh of FC Oss in Netherlands; Tonia Tisdell of Osmanlispor in Turkey and Sam Johnson of Djurgarden in Sweden.
Strikers: William Jerbo of SD Ponferradina in Spain; Patrick Wleh of PKNS in Malaysia and Dioh Williams of Gefle in Sweden.
Ivory Coast Names 24-Man Ivorian Squad to Face Liberia
Frenchman Michel Dussuyer has named Wilfried Bony of Manchester City in a 24-man squad to face Liberia over two legs in the second round preliminary of the 2018 World Cup. Liberia will host the first leg at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on November 13 and the return leg takes place in Abidjan on November 17.
Bony hasn’t played for the Ivory Coast since a dramatic penalty shootout win over Ghana in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals at the Estadio de Bata Equatorial Guinea on February 8. The England-based striker hit the crossbar with the first kick, although the Ivorians eventually triumphed 9-8. In a 3-1 quarter-final win over Algeria, Bony scored two headers, one from a Max Gradel cross and the second from a Yaya Toure’s free kick.
Bony was named in the squad to face Sierra Leone in a 2017 Afcon qualifier on September 6 in Lagos, Nigeria but pulled-out due to injury. But he has been in a sparkling form for City in the Premier and Champions Leagues. Bony scored twice in the 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium on October 17 and scored in a 3-1 away win over Sevilla in the Champions League at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on November 3.
Seydou Doumbia of CSKA Moscow, Gervinho of AS Roma and Solomon Kalou of Hertha Berlin were also recalled. Kalou scored a hat-trick as Hertha Berlin temporarily moved into fourth place in the German Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at Hannover 96 on November 6. But midfielders Cheick Tiote of Newcastle United and Toure of Manchester City missed out as well as Lacina Traore of AS Monaco and Aruna Kone of Everton.
Tiote, who returned from an injury sustained in August, played all league games last month, including the 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City on October 31. Toure is yet to decide his future since captaining his country to a first Afcon triumph since 1992. And the 31-year-old midfielder suggested he may now follow brother Kolo into international retirement.
"I think now my target is done. I want to wait a couple of days for what I will decide for my future," Toure told BBC's Sportsworld programme on March 28. Toure was speaking in Abidjan, where they played two celebratory friendly matches - a 2-0 win over Uganda and a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea.
The games were designed to honor the team's achievement in winning the Nations Cup and also allow defender Kolo Toure and goalkeeper Boubacar Barry to say their final farewells following their retirement from internationals. And it may be that Toure, who has just collected the Golden Lion award for Africa's best player for the fourth year running will be the latest to call time on his career.
After making his international debut in 2004, Toure has gone on to win 95 caps, scoring 19 goals. He took over the captain's armband from striker Didier Drogba in 2014. He has played in six Afcon tournaments, suffering defeat in the final in 2006 and 2012, and appeared in three World Cups.
But after 11 years on the international scene, Toure has hinted he may step aside for the new generation. "The time for the youngsters will come soon and we need to let them go on alone," he said. And with only two years left to run on his contract with his English Premier League side, Toure is understood to be weighing up whether now is the time to focus solely on his club.
The goalkeepers are Sylvain Gbohouo of TP Mazembe in DR Congo; Ali Badra Sangare of Asec Mimosas in Côte d’Ivoire and Mande Sayouba of Stabaek in Norway. The defenders include Serge Aurier of Paris Saint Germain in France; Mamadou Bagayoko of KV St Truidense in Belgium; Eric Bailly of Villarreal in Spain; Simon Deli of Slavia Prague in Czech Republic; Arthur Boka of Malaga in Spain; Constant Djakpa of Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany; Lamine Kone of FC Lorient in France and Ousmane Viera of Rizespor in Turkey.
The midfielders are VictorienAngban of KV St Truidense in Belgium; Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro of Toulouse in France; Ismaël Diomande of St Etienne in France; Serge Yao N’guessan of AFAD in Côte d’Ivoire; Geoffrey Serey Die of Stuttgart in Germany and Jean Michaël Seri of Nice in France. The strikers are Wilfred Bony of Manchester City in England; Seydou Doumbia of CSKA Moscow in Russia; Gervinho of AS Roma in Italy; Cyriac Bi Gohi of KV Oostende in Belgium; Giovanni Sio of Stade Rennais in France; Thomas Toure of Bordeaux in France and Salomon Kalou, of Hertha Berlin in Germany.