Drogba unsure of Mali approach

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Ivory Coast have qualified for the quarter finals and only need a draw to confirm their place as group winners, a result that will also see Mali advance at the expense of Nigeria.

There have been rumours that the Ivorians will field a weakened side and play an accord game with Mali which would qualify both sides, and the Chelsea striker admitted it would be tough to go full throttle against Mali.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Drogba said.

“We have to win all our matches but it is difficult to say what will happen. You know my wife is Malian, I don’t know but we will see what we can do.”

To show his affinity with Mali, Drogba threw his shirt to the Mali supporters after the 1-0 win against Nigeria.

And he is not the only player facing a crisis of uncertainty, as a number of players on the Ivorian side also have connections to Mali, including the Toure brothers, who face the same dilemma of giving one hundred percent for the win.

Nigerian officials said in Sekondi that they hope the Ivorians give it their best shot.

“We expect them to be professional and play to the best of their abilities and go for the win,” NFA Secretary General Bolaji Ojo-Oba told KickOffNigeria.com ahead of the game.

“We will also do our part here, but they should be conscious of the fact that they are under world scrutiny and also playing in front of CAF officials, so anything they do will be seen by the whole world.”

Meanwhile, Mali striker Fredric Kanoute says he and his mates will taking nothing for granted when they meet Ivory Coast tonight.

The Sevilla striker added that they would fight to the end“It is not over yet, we are going to fight to the end and then we will see,” Kanoute stated. “We are not going to go and play for a draw because anything can happen."And he conceded that Mali took advantage of the fact that the Super Eagles were under pressure after losing their first game to the Ivorians.

“It was easier for us because they were under more pressure than us and they needed to attack. We just had to be strong defensively and that’s what we did.”