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Football | Africa

Steven Nzonzi © Action Images

Nzonzi turns down DR Congo invitation



Stoke City defensive midfielder Steven Nzonzi has turned down an invitation to play international soccer for the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country's football federation said on Sunday.

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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