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Ivory Coast hit by late withdrawals for friendly

Regular captain Didier Drogba withdrew earlier this week and the striker has since been joined by Chelsea team-mate Kalou, the Manchester City duo, and four other Europe-based players, the Ivorian federation said on its website.

Five of the eight missing players were injured, according to the federation, including defender Kolo Toure, who has not played since the African Nations Cup final defeat to Zambia on February 12.

Midfielder Yaya Toure traveled to Abidjan after playing for Manchester City on Saturday but has since been ruled out, the federation said, adding administrative problems were behind Kalou's failure to turn up but gave no further details.