Ivory Coast strip Zokora of team armband after Drogba row

Karim Farouk, Monday 9 Sep 2013

The vice-captain is fined and banned from the team's captaincy for challenging Drogba's return

File photo: Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, left and Didier Zokora (R) (Photo: AP)

Didier Zokora has been deprived from Ivory Coast captaincy after a row over the armband with teammate Didier Drogba ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against Morocco last Saturday.

The 32-year-old international defender challenged the decision of coach Sabri Lamouchi to give back the armband to Didier Drogba who is back to the Elephants for the first time since the African Cup of Nations last January.

The Trabzonspor player left the camp on Wednesday night for hours before returning to the hotel and apologising to his teammates.

The executive committee of the Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) held an emergency meeting on  Friday and decided to drop him immediately from Saturday's game.

"Mr Zokora has been dropped from Morocco game, will be fined 10 million francs CFA ($20,160) and will never wear the armband of the national team whatever are the circumstances," the president of FIF Sidy Diallo was quoted as saying on Abidjan.net on Monday.

The Elephants qualified to the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers after holding Morocco to a 1-1 draw. Ironically it was Drogba who sealed the qualification after scoring a late equalizer to cancel Youssef El-Arabi's lead.

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