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Football | Afcon

Elephants seek divine help



Ivory Coast football federation officials paid visits to a mosque and a church in Abidjan on Wednesday to seek for prayers from clerics for the national team’s success at the looming Africa Cup of Nations.

Led by the body’s president Sidy Diallo, the delegation said prayers were necessary to accompany the team to the tournament in South Africa to take care of the spiritual aspect of their performance.

“We have come to entrust our 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign to you, so that your prayers can help us have success at the competition,” Diallo told Rev. Ediemou Blin, president of the country’s religious forum.

Diallo said he had no fears about the physical form of the Elephants and the fighting spirit of the set up for the tournament, but that above all a divine push was necessary to see the team through.

Ivory Coast will be participating in their 20th Africa Cup of Nations this year and will complete preparations in Abu Dhabi between January 6 and 16, to be crowned with a friendly match against Egypt.

Coach Sabri Lamouchi has named his 23-man squad for the showpiece, including most of the outfit’s veterans.

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