Ivory Coast under-23 secure release of striker Kouame

Genoa striker Christian Kouame

In-form striker, Christian Kouame has been included in Ivory Coast's final 21-man squad for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after Italian side Genoa agreed to release him.

The 21-year old made his senior international debut for Ivory Coast in a 3-1 home win over DR Congo a few weeks ago.

Kouame has netted five goals in 10 Serie A matches so far this season.

Earlier this week, French club Nice refused to release Cameroon's Ignatius Ganago.

Clubs are not required to release players because this tournament falls outside of FIFA's international match calendar.

The Ivorian side is dominated by 18 foreign based players.

Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, Chelsea under-19 team goal keeper Nicolas Tie, Glasgow Celtic striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo and skipper Ismael Chester Diallo who plays for French club Ajaccio, all make the team.

The tournament will serve as qualifiers for the Olympic games men's football competition begins on November 8 with the final match two weeks later.

Ivory Coast are in group B alongside Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia and will will lock horns with Nigeria in their opening game on November 9.

Zambia too have announced their final 21-man squad which included only eight foreign based players of which seven are with European clubs.

They include the Austria based duo of Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu- both playing for Red Bull Salzburg, midfielder, Edward Chilufya of Swedish side Djurgardens and goalkeeper Bradley Mweene who is with South African club Real Kings,

Others are the Belgium based duo of Fashion Sakala and Emmanuel Banda as well as the Russia based duo of Lameck Banda and Kangwa Kings

Zambia will face South Africa in their open match also on November 9.

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