Drogba again left out of Ivory Coast squad

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP)

Didier Drogba has again been left out of the Ivory Coast squad for two World Cup qualifiers next month.

Drogba was not part of the 26-man squad named by coach Sabri Lamouchi this week for games at Gambia on June 8 and Tanzania on June 16.

The 35-year-old Drogba didn't play any part in the home win over Gambia in World Cup qualifying in March, with Lamouchi indicating he had dropped his striker and captain to allow him to recover form and fitness.

Drogba hasn't played for his country since the quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Nigeria at this year's African Cup of Nations, which was seen as his last chance to win an international title. His absence from Ivory Coast's latest squad increases speculation that he is near to international retirement.

Without him, Lamouchi called up seven strikers, including Salomon Kalou of Lille, Gervinho of Arsenal and newcomer Mathis Bolly of Fortuna Duesseldorf, who was born in Norway. Manchester City midfielders Yaya Toure and Abdul Razack were also included.

Ivory Coast leads its World Cup qualifying group by a point halfway through the competition.

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