The Ivory Coast have given up trying to persuade Holland-based striker Salomon Kalou to play for them.
The Ivory Coast have given up on persuading Salomon Kalou to play for them
The 19-year-old Feyenoord striker has rejected several invitations to join the team, which is on course to reach the 2006 World Cup, even though his elder brother Bonaventure is the captain.
Ivorian Football Federation president Jacques Anouma said they had given Kalou a deadline to make a decision but that he had not responded.
Anouma added that Lecce defender Axel Konan would also no longer
be considered for the Elephants.
"We are now turning the page. The deadline has passed for their decision and they will no longer be part of our plans," Anouma said.
Kalou has said in the past that he would rather play for Holland and is already trying to obtain Dutch nationality.
Indeed there were recent media reports that were attempts to get
an application for citizenship fast-tracked through the Dutch parliament.
If he does get his citizenship Kalou could play in the World Youth Championships, which the Netherlands are hosting in June.
Kalou has scored 14 goals in the Dutch league this season and grabbed five more in the Uefa Cup.
Meanwhile the Ivory Coast beat Benin 3-0 in Abidjan on Saturday to extend their lead in Group Three of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers to four points.