Didier Drogba, a Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, will run for President of the Football Federation.

Didier Drogba, a Chelsea and Ivory Coast great, has been permitted to run for president of Ivory Coast’s football federation in the long-delayed elections (FIF).

Drogba is one of six candidates permitted by FIF’s Fifa-installed normalisation committee to run in the April 23 elections, which also include outgoing vice president Idriss Diallo.

The election was supposed to take place in September 2020, but it has been frequently postponed due to lingering questions about the eligibility of certain candidates, including Drogba.

At a press conference, Mariam Dao Gabala, president of the FIF normalisation committee, said, “The candidacy for the President of the Ivorian football federation is closed.”

“There are six candidates on the list. Yatte Ellele Jean-Baptiste, Arnaud Aka, Laurent Kouakou, Idriss Diallo, Sory Diabate, and Didier Drogba are the names of the players.”

Drogba played for the Elephants more than 100 times, including at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but he was notified in August 2020 that he was not allowed to run for president.

The 44-year-old, who won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and the Champions League during two periods with Chelsea, retains his ambitions of leading the game in the West African country following intervention from world governing body Fifa.

On Monday, the former BBC African Footballer of the Year formally submitted his application, emphasizing his ambition to change the face of Ivorian football.

Drogba said, “Finally, here we are.”

“I’m excited for the campaign to begin. If elected, have faith in me to bring Ivorian football to life.”

Drogba told BBC Sport Africa last week: “I can bring the needed reform to the federation and clubs. In Ivory Coast, football is not growing as quickly as it could or as quickly as we would like.”

Drogba, the Ivory Coast’s all-time leading scorer before retiring in 2018, also played for Guingamp and Marseille in France, Shanghai Shenhua in China, Galatasaray in Turkey, and the Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer.

Ivory Coast is a two-time African champion, having won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992 and 2015. The 2023 edition of the Nations Cup will be held in Ivory Coast.

Categorized as Sport

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