Drogba submits candidacy for Cote d’Ivoire football federation presidency

FILE PHOTO: Cote d’Ivoire’s former soccer player Didier Drogba addresses a news conference after the inauguration ceremony of a new school building constructed by the Didier Drogba Foundation at Pokou Kouamekro, Gagnoa, Cote d’Ivoire, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has submitted his candidacy for the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation presidency ahead of the September elections.

The 42-year-old is one of four candidates that are eyeing the position, and he hopes his achievements with The Elephants will earn him the seat.

Drogba, a two-time African Footballer of the Year, is however still not certain to be on the ballot for the 5 September vote.

According to Reuters, not only does he need nominations from three of the 14 Ligue 1 clubs and two from the lower divisions, Drogba must also have the endorsement of any of five special interest groups: coaches, doctors, current and former players and referees.

The Chelsea legend said his candidacy is pushed by a desire to transform the sport in the country.

“Football is everyone’s sport, football brings people together, football unites. We can see it today with all these people gathered in front of the headquarters of the Ivorian football federation,” Reuters quotes Drogba.

“It’s no secret that our football is going badly, and that is why with my team we are committed to contributing to the rebirth of Ivorian football. If my goal was not driven by a deep desire to give back to Ivorian football all that it has given me, to contribute to the development of football in my country, and if God was not in this candidacy, it would be difficult to be in front of you today.”