Didier Drogba’s hopes of becoming the president of the Ivory Coast FA suffered a massive blow at the end of April when he secured zero votes from members of the Association of Former Ivorian Footballers.
Considered one of the hot favourites for the post with many regarding his candidacy as a chance for improvement of Ivorian football, Drogba had expected to build a solid base for election after the first stage in voting. However, former players unanimously voted for his main rival, the league chief Sory Diabate, dealing a heavy blow to Drogba’s ambition of leading the federation.
Of the 14 members of the Association of Former Ivorian Footballers who participated in the voting exercise via video conferencing, 11 voted with Diabate, the remaining three, abstained.
Idriss Diallo, who is Vice-President of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) also received no votes.
However, there is still a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for Drogba as he will be hoping that members of Cote d’Ivoire’s active footballers’ association, coaches, referees and physios vote in his favour.
He can count on Yaya Toure in his corner. said Toure...
“It’s time for change in our football. It needs modernity.
“When I say I support Drogba, it’s also for the good of the country, to have a former player of his kind investing himself in Africa.”
Drogba represented his country 105 times and announced his intention to run for the post back in September.
However, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, no date has been scheduled for what remains of the election.
Speaking on his Instagram page, Toure told his followers, “Didier was my big brother, my captain. People talked a lot about us but we were always calm, wise. We know each other.
“Too many people tried to criticise him, the press, fans.”
Current players from Ivory Coast will be given an opportunity to vote and Toure, the four-time African footballer of the year who led his country to victory in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations said: “I know he is looking for support and I hope he will get it from some of the voters, presidents of clubs or AFI (Ivorian Association of Football Players).”
Among the former players to vote for Diabate was Drogba’s former assistant captain Didier Zokora, once of Tottenham Hotspur.
Victor Ezeji, a legend of the Nigeria Football League who won three caps for Nigeria, said he felt Drogba’s former team-mates didn’t vote for him out of jealousy.
“First, I will attribute this to envy because most times, ex-internationals seem to envy [each other]. Especially when one is thriving, there is so much envy and bad blood,” Ezeji told Goal.
“I think that is one of the things that must have led to Drogba not getting a vote from any of the ex-internationals which is very absurd.
“In most sane countries, you’ll see ex-internationals head their FAs because it’s like putting a round peg in a round hole. That was what everybody expected it [the Ivorian election] to be. Personally, I thought Drogba would have a clean sweep because the ex-internationals were involved. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
“Also, when it comes to elections generally in Africa, people tend to sell their votes for envelopes. Drogba probably didn’t reach out to them or make mouth-watering promises. Like my friend would say, for you to know how popular you are, it is when you contest an election.”