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By ESPN Staff

Drogba heads up Ivory Coast Nations squad

CAIRO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, a candidate for the African Footballer of the Year award, heads the 23-man Ivory Coast squad for African Nations Cup finals named in Abidjan on Tuesday.

Coach Henri Michel has named a squad of exclusively foreign-based players for the tournament, which starts on Jan. 20, all but one of them from clubs outside Africa.

The exception is goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie, who plays at Tunisian club Esperance and has recovered from a recent injury.

There was no place in the side for Le Havre striker Kandia Traore, who was called up for a training camp after a spate of goal in France's Ligue 2.

The Ivorians, who head to the World Cup finals in Germany later this year, play in Group A against hosts Egypt, Libya and Morocco at the finals which run to Feb. 10.


Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Beveren, Belgium), Gerard Gnanhouan (Montpellier, France), Jean-Jacques Tizie (Esperance, Tunisia)

Defenders: Arthur Boka (Racing Strasbourg, France), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV, Germany), Cyrille Domoraud (Creteil, France), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal, England), Blaise Kossi Kouassi (Troyes, France), Abdoulaye Meite (Olympique Marseille, France), Kolo Toure (Arsenal, England), Marc Zoro (Messina, Italy)

Midfielders: Kanga Akale (AJ Auxerre), Emerse Fae (Nantes, France), Christian Koffi Ndri (Le Mans, France), Siaka Tiene (St Etienne, France), Gilles Yapi Yapo (Nantes, France), Gneri Yaya Toure (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece), Didier Zokora (St Etienne, France)

Strikers: Aruna Dindane (Racing Lens, France), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Bonaventure Kalou (Paris St Germain, France), Arouna Kone (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Bakary Kone (Nice, France).