African Cup of Nations - Stoke's Nzonzi turns down DR Congo

Stoke City defensive midfielder Steven Nzonzi has turned down an invitation to play for Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reuters
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Stoke City defensive midfielder Steven Nzonzi

Nzonzi, who has played for France at under-21 level, received a call-up for a friendly international against fellow African Nations Cup finalists Burkina Faso in Morocco but he and Grandi Ngoyi, from Ligue 1 club Troyes, declined despite discussions with coach Claude Le Roy.

The Stoke player was first approached by the Congolese to play for the national team last year. His father is from the central African country, and he would be entitled to make the switch under FIFA statutes.

Congo play at the Nations Cup finals in South Africa next January after missing out on the last three finals. They are paired in Group B along with Ghana, Mali and Niger.

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