Two French youth internationals commit to Ivory Coast

Lyon striker Maxwel Cornet
Maxwel Cornet who plays for French club Lyon has committed his international future to Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast have persuaded two French junior internationals to switch allegiance and play for them at senior level.

Striker Maxwel Cornet, 20, who plays in France for Lyon and midfielder Seko Fofana, 21, from Italian club Udinese, have committed to playing for the Elephants.

Cornet is Ivorian born while Fofana, who had a loan spell at Fulham, was born in Paris but his parents hail from the Ivory Coast.

Both played for France up to under-19 but under Fifa regulations can change their allegiance as they are dual nationals and have not played a senior competitive international for the team.

The duo join former England international Wilfried Zaha as players who have been recruited by the Ivorian federation in recent months.

The new players strengthen their squad for the resumption of World Cup qualifiers later in the year, the country's football federation has said.

New Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots met with both Cornet and Fofana this week.

They are likely to feature in his first squad in June when the team play the Netherlands in a friendly and then open their qualifying campaign for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a home match against Guinea.

In August, they resume their World Cup qualifying campaign away in Gabon. The Ivory Coast head Group C with four points from their first two matches.

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