The Ivoirian Football Federation (FIF) has confirmed that it is currently pursuing a change of national status for England star Wilfried Zaha that would see the attacking midfielder switch allegiance to the Elephants.
Born in Abidjan 24 years ago, Zaha moved to England at the age of four. He played for England at youth level and turned out twice for the senior national team in friendly games, but has not been recalled again since 2013.
The Ivoirian-English attacking midfielder Wilfried Zaha has chosen to play for the Elephants, under the colours of the Ivory Coast, his country of origin, the Ivoirian federation announced in a statement on Sunday.
The player has sent, on this Sunday November 27 2016, correspondence to FIFA to change his national team.
The national body revealed that Zaha signed the change of allegiance request in London in the presence of his father, as well as FIF president Sidy Diallo, and the national team coach Michel Dussuyer.
Meanwhile Zaha’s coach at London club Crystal Palace, Englishman Alan Pardew, has called on the English football hierarchy to fight to keep the player.
He believes the talented winger is simply frustrated by his Three Lions snub.
Personally, I think he warrants a call. Look at the numbers. The ball is not in Wilf’s court, but in Englands. Pardew said last week.
I can understand his frustration. He has played with players who are picked at that level, and feels he deserves another chance.
He has had a chance at junior but not at senior level. There are not many other English players who can beat players like he does in the Premier League. Some do, but they are not English.
Zaha would now be expected to make the Elephants squad to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, where they will be the defending champions.