Hibernian boss John Hughes admits he could not stand in the way of Souleymane Bamba's Ivory Coast call-up.
Although the 24-year-old defender has been battling to overcome a knee injury, Hughes was against withdrawing him.
Ivory Coast have already qualified for next summer's World Cup and Bamba is keen to seize every chance possible in order to cement his place in their 23-man squad for South Africa.
The African nation have world class players in the shape of Kolo Toure and Didier Drogba and Hughes believes his Hibs ace will only benefit from being around those stars.
"I sympathise with Sol," explained Hughes.
"It's only recently he's become a regular part of the team and when you see the players they have you realise the competition he's facing.
"I believe Sol has become a better player for having been part of his country's squad."