Drogba Waits as Ivory Coast Federation Postpones Elections Again

 

Electoral elections to choose a new president of Ivory Coast’s football federation (FIF) have been postponed once again, meaning Didier Drogba must wait yet again before finding out if he can run for the position.

A dispute over the eligibility of candidates – including former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba – has caused the election to be delayed by 18 months, with the polls originally scheduled for September 2020.

Originally scheduled to take place on 23 March, the current polls have been called off without a new date.

In December 2020, Fifa appointed a normalisation committee to manage the federation in the West African country.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) and Fifa sent a joint letter to the FIF last Friday, expressing concerns about the electoral process, which has caused yet another delay.

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According to a statement by FIF’s normalisation committee president Mariam Dao Gabala, a decision was made to “find an adequate response to the sponsorships” provision.

The election process will be resumed as soon as possible, she said.

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to be held in Ivory Coast between June and July next year. In August 2020, Drogba and another candidate were told they were not eligible to run for FIF president. Drogba has made more than 100 international appearances for the Elephants.

When he presented his application at the FIF headquarters in Abidjan, the 43-year-old had been warmly welcomed by a large crowd.

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FIF ruled that Drogba and the other candidate didn’t meet the federation’s long list of eligibility requirements due to technicalities regarding the sponsors of their nominations.

Drogba’s candidacy was rejected after it was found that two of his eight backers also supported a rival.

Following this, FIFA halted the elections while it requested a number of documents, giving Drogba hope that its decision would be overturned.

The election process was delayed again in December 2020, after Fifa installed a normalization committee to govern football in Ivory Coast until new elections could be held.

It appears that Fifa and the CAF have yet to be satisfied by the election process, which was originally set to expire at the end of 2021.

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