March 22, 2018 / 2:55 PM / 4 months ago

Toure puts Ivory Coast international comeback on hold

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Yaya Toure has pulled out of two friendly internationals over the next week for “family reasons”, officials said on Thursday, putting his long-awaited Ivory Coast comeback on hold.

FILE PHOTO: Ivory Coast's captain Yaya Toure (C) celebrates with team mates after winning the African Nations Cup final soccer match against Ghana in Bata February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Toure, who turns 35 in May, was named last week in a 24-man squad for matches in France against Togo and Moldova, having eschewed international soccer since leading the Ivorians to the African Nations Cup title in early 2015.

The Manchester City midfielder made a surprise announcement in December of a return despite the Ivorians having failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and had been expected to feature in the match against Togo this weekend.

The Ivorian Football Federation added that Olympique Lyonnais striker Maxwell Cornet, Jean Philippe Gbamin from Bundesliga club Mainz and Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace had all pulled out because of injury.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Alexander Smith

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