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Sports World News of Wednesday, 25 January 2017


Kalou retires from Ivory Coast duties after AFCON disaster

Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou retired from the national team on Tuesday after the reigning champions humiliatingly crashed out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations at the group phase of the competition in Gabon.

The 31-year-old, who was part of the squad that won the title two years ago, said the older generation must make way for the younger ones.

"I am 31, this is my sixth Africa Cup of Nations. I have been to a final and won another," said the 31-year-old after a 1-0 defeat to Morocco in Oyem condemned the Elephants to a group-stage exit.

"This time things did not go so well. There are young players like (Franck) Kessie, (Wilfried) Zaha... I think they are the future of Ivorian football and I wish them god luck."

Kalou won the man of the match award but it was Rachid Alioui who scored the only goal of the game for a Morocco side coached by Herve Renard, the mastermind of the Ivory Coast's 2015 triumph.

Former Chelsea player Kalou, now with Hertha Berlin, won his first cap in 2007 and has played for his country 89 times altogether.