Didier Drogba set for new role in Ivory Coast?

Didier Drogba - Ivory Coast
Didier Drogba - Ivory Coast

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has revealed his plans for a new role in Ivory Coast football later this month.

The Elephants have suffered a decline of sorts since winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, with the country having since struggled to qualify for the FIFA World Cup – their last participation at the tournament came at the 2014 edition in Brazil.

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Political turmoil has been cited as one of the reasons for the nation's struggles, and Drogba, who is running for the presidency of the Ivorian Football Federation, has vowed to improve the state of the game in his homeland ahead of the elections on 23 April.

"I participate because I believe I can win," Drogba told BBC Sport Africa.

"I can bring the change that the federation and the clubs need.

"Football isn't rising the way it should and the way we want it in Ivory Coast."

The two-time Afcon champions are set to host the next instalment of the continental competition, which is scheduled to be held in June and July 2023, and the retired star hopes the presidential process will run smoothly, having been told he did not meet the criteria to become elected in 2020.

FIFA had to intervene and appoint a normalisation committee that has been running football in Ivory Coast since December 2020.

"I hope the elections will be done in the most democratic way possible," Drogba added.

"I was able to stand but the electoral process was stopped because of bad governance. I have been a part of this election process."

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The 44-year-old has also identified some issues plaguing the local football scene in recent years.

"There are a lot of problems, but the main problem is that the players are not paid well," Drogba continued.

"The club owners don't receive their financial allocation on time to make the clubs function.

"There is no real organisation and you can feel that at the highest level.

"Today, it is more difficult for Ivory Coast to qualify for the World Cup. We have missed the last two World Cups due to internal fights that have been going on since 2014."

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