A couple of days ago, we covered a story from Ivory Coast claiming that Chelsea had blocked Nicolas Tié from playing for Ivory Coast during the international break as they were worried about his fitness.
That was the official line from the player himself, but sportmania.ci claimed a different line, stating the French Football Federation had called the 17-year-old and his family and told them not to rush their decision over the national team, as they were still interested in him for the future.
This, allegedly, caused the youngster to think twice about playing for Ivory Coast, hence why he didn’t turn up to Abidjan for training with the rest of the squad.
On Thursday, sportmania.ci, sat down with the national team’s manager, Kamara Ibrahim, and enquired about the situation after he stated the Blues did in fact ‘block him’.
He said: “I spoke to people at the club. We’re all in the same project. The idea is that Nicolas Tié comes to the national in the best possible shape. He’s a player with a lot of potential.
“We all hope that he discovers the environment of the Ivory Coast national team, that he sees how things happen. So that he isn’t surprised. Therefore, there’s no need to judge the Chelsea staff’s attitude.”
So, the official line, at least the one given by those at Stamford Bridge, really was something to do with his health.
We’ll have to wait to really find out, as there’s every chance Kamara Ibrahim tries to call him up for the next international break in November, when Ivory Coast face Guinea in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game.
If he doesn’t turn up again, maybe that will give us more of an idea of where things are heading.