Didier Drogba’s dream to become Ivory Coast football federation (FIF) president took a heavy hit as the Chelsea legend’s application was rejected by the electoral commission.
The FIF electoral commission confirmed on Thursday through a set of documents that the two-time African Footballer of the Year did not meet all the eligibility conditions, as a result, Drogba is not eligible to stand in the September 5 election for the next president of FIF.
Along with three other candidates, Drogba submitted his bid to revolutionise Ivorian football earlier this month in front of a large crowd that gathered outside the headquarters of the Ivorian football federation in full support of the former striker.
Reports indicate that Drogba’s bid was thrown out as two of the names he had put forward as his sponsors, Club Africa Sport and the Referees Association, AMAF-CI didn’t have the necessary authority to support the former Chelsea star.
The FIF’s electoral commission found that Club Africa Sport and Referees Association are already backing another candidate, Sory Diabaté.
Different members of the two organisation had also signed Drogba’s documents with the electoral commission stating that they were not allowed to do so.
It meant that Drogba did not meet the electoral requirements of having the backing of at least three top-flight clubs as he had only the support of two clubs in Ivory Coast.
Drogba has five days to appeal the decision. Paul Koffi Kouadio also had his bid rejected.
Vice-president Diabate and former FIF vice-president Yacine Idriss Diallo are the only two remaining candidates.
Mahamadou Sangare, a member of Drogba’s team, said he was not surprised by the electoral commission’s decision to reject the former striker’s presidency bid.
“Drogba’s staff isn’t surprised by this decision to reject the bid. But we remain unfazed. We will react to conform to the texts which surround this election,” said Sangare as quoted by AFP.
The legendary striker retired in 2018 and remains Ivory Coast’s all-time top scorer with 65 goals in 105 matches. Drogba featured at five Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) tournaments and three FIFA World Cups.
At club level, the 42-year-old won numerous titles, including the UEFA Champions League, Premier League (PL), title as well as the PL Golden Boot with Chelsea.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi