Didier Drogba drew a big crowd on Saturday keen to observe him submit his candidacy before the deadline for next month’s Ivory Coast Soccer Federation elections.
The 42-year-old former African Footballer of the Year is certainly one of 4 candidates looking for the presidency of the West African nation’s soccer affiliation.
However he’s nonetheless not sure to be on the ballot for the Sept. 5 vote.
On top of needing nominations from three of the 14 Ligue 1 clubs and two from the lower divisions, Drogba will need to have the endorsement of any of five special interest groups: coaches, doctors, current and former gamers and referees.
They haven’t all made public who they’re backing, and the candidates are first vetted by an electoral commission before qualifying to stand in the elections.
That final result is expected to take 5 days, a federation spokesman stated.
Drogba had until 5pm local time to submit his candidacy and was eagerly followed as he arrived at the Ivorian federation’s offices in a presidential-style convoy of cars.
“Soccer is everybody’s sport, soccer brings people collectively, soccer unites. We are able to see it right now with all these people gathered in entrance of the headquarters of the Ivorian soccer federation,” Drogba told reporters.
“It’s no secret that our soccer is going badly, and that’s the reason with my crew we are committed to contributing to the rebirth of Ivorian football. If my goal was not pushed by a deep need to provide again to Ivorian soccer all that it has given me, to contribute to the development of soccer in my nation, and if God was not in this candidacy, it would be tough to be in front of you right now.”
Drogba played in three World Cups with the Ivory Coast and twice helped them to the ultimate of the Africa Cup of Nations, additionally earning cult standing amongst followers for his exploits with Chelsea in the Premier League and Champions League.