Ivory Coast coach says Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is considering retiring from international football

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has asked to be excused from the Ivory Coast’s matches over the upcoming international break.

Ivory Coast’s manager has claimed Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is considering retiring from international football, after he snubbed the Elephants for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Zaha is a key member of coach Patrice Beaumelle’s side, having been capped 21 times for the West African nation since his debut in 2017.

He will however not be part of the team that will play Mozambique and Cameroon this month in the World Cup qualifiers after opting out on health grounds.

“He asked not to come because he comes home sick at each meeting,”  Beaumelle explained after announcing his squad on Thursday.

“He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career."

Why has Zaha taken this decision ?

After opting to play for the Ivory Coast in 2017, Zaha revealed he felt loved and a connection playing for the country of his birth but in the last few years has showed signs of frustrations.

His decision to stay away is mainly due to the fact he left really sick after playing 74 minutes against Malawi last month, and returned to London quite unwell.

He did not return to a clean bill of health until after 10 days after getting home to Croydon, and he missed the Premier League game against Arsenal and was only fit for the bench against Newcastle.

The 28-year-old also has two little daughters who he feels he is not spending enough time with, and travelling to Africa once every month is seen as a huge ask for Zaha at the moment.

He is genuinely having second thoughts about his international future, but then he also wants to win the Africa Cup of Nations that will be staged in Cameroon next January.

There is also the issue of playing in the World Cup in Qatar, and Zaha will love to play in a major tournament.

All these factors have to be considered, and he has asked for time as he ponders on his next move.

Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

What next for Zaha at this stage ?

His international future is still up in the air at the moment, and he will have time to fully recover while most of his teammates travel long distances to represent their countries around the world.

But he will have to make up his mind quickly on what the next move will be, with the Ivory Coast set to name their squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in early December.

That competition will be a chance to win a major international trophy, and refusing to participate in that could affect his chances of playing at the World Cup if the Ivory Coast qualify as expected.

Zaha and former Ivory Coast international and former Chelsea star Didier Drogba are close friends and they will definitely have a word about any decision the Palace man eventually takes.

Why Zaha refused to play for England

Zaha was born in the Ivory Coast but was raised in South London and came through the academy at Crystal Palace.

He has played two friendly games for England under then manager Roy Hodgson, before switching allegiance to play for the west African country.