Ivory Coast: Zaha switches soccer allegiance from England

LONDON: Ivory Coast says Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, who played two friendlies for England, has decided to switch international football allegiance to the west African nation.

The announcement comes ahead of the African Cup of Nations, which is being played in the middle of the Premier League season in January.

The 24-year-old Zaha played for England in 2012 and 2013 but because neither match was a competitive fixture, the Abidjan-born player can turn out for Ivory Coast. Zaha moved to London at the age of four with his family.

Ivory Coast's football federation said on its website that Zaha signed the forms on Sunday to change his sporting nationality and they're being sent to FIFA. Zaha was pictured with Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer and federation president Sidy Diallo.