The Ivory Coast has arranged a friendly tonight against Equatorial Guinea in Abidjan, and it was arranged at short notice.
Cheick Tiote – in action for Ivory Coast recently
Unfortunately Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote has been called up for the game in the 16 man Ivory Coast squad, so he faces a long return journey to play a friendly.
The Ivory Coast hammered Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations on February 4th, and they are playing them tonight to keep the squad on their toes, as they will soon be qualifying for next January’s African Cup of Nations, to be held in South Africa
They are changing the years in which the tournament is played to odd years, so as not to clash with other big tournaments like the European Championships which are played every four years on even years.
But we have to hope that the African tournament will soon change to a four year cycle, because this is all a little unfair to European clubs.
They now have a number of African players in their squads, as the players are continually being called up in January and February for these tournaments, half way through the European football season..
And Chelsea and Manchester City seem to have got off lightly as Didier Drogba, the brothers Kolo and Yaya Touré and Salomon Kalou have been excused the game.
Tiote only returned to Newcastle a week last Monday to resume training, after being away since the 5th January at the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
The tournament is scheduled to be held in Morocco in January of 2015 and Lybia in January of 2015.
That means that in the four years from 2012 through 2015, there will be three African Cup of Nations tournaments – there’s something wrong somewhere.