Wilfried Zahra Dumps England National Team For Ivory Coast

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Wilfried Zahra Dumps England National Team For Ivory Coast

The 24-year-old former England U-21 worldwide, who was born in Abidjan, played twice for the senior England team, in friendly matches, against Sweden in 2012 and Scotland in 2013, and therefore remains eligible to "switch" nationalities.

The Crystal Palace winger has swapped global allegiance after making two friendly appearances for England and will now turn out for Ivory Coast.

Zaha is now in contention to play at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in January.

As the games he has played in for England were only friendlies, it has given the winger the opportunity to switch countries.

Manchester City's Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure (L) passes the ball as Crystal Palace's Ivorian-born English striker Wilfried Zaha (R) tries to close him down during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 19, 2016. The 24-year-old, who was pictured holding the Elephants' shirt, was apparently first approached by the former Arsenal forward and Ivory Coast captain Gervinho, now playing with Hebei China Fortune, to ascertain his interest.

"Born on November 10 in Abidjan, Wilfried Zaha grew up in England, the country for which he made two appearances in friendly matches".

Palace manager Alan Pardew recently claimed Zaha would rather play for England if he was given the chance.

In the presence of his father, Augustin Sidy Diallo (president of the FIF) and Michel Dussuyer (Ivory Coast coach), he signed at the bottom of the demand to change his sporting nationality addressed to Federation Internationale de Football Association.

It's not ideal for beleaguered Crystal Palace who now face losing Zaha for up to six weeks. "I think Wilf is hoping England come in for him", Pardew said on Friday.

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