Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has formally submitted his candidacy to become the next president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation.
Drogba drew thousands of supporters outside the federation’s offices where he submitted his candidacy on Sunday ahead of the elections due to be held next month.
“Football is everyone’s sport, football brings people together, football unites. We can see it today with all these people gathered in front of the headquarters of the Ivorian football federation,” Drogba told the press.
“It’s no secret that our football is going badly, and that is why with my team we are committed to contributing to the rebirth of Ivorian football.
“If my goal was not driven by a deep desire to give back to Ivorian football all that it has given me, to contribute to the development of football in my country, and if God was not in this candidacy, it would be difficult to be in front of you today.”
The 42-year-old is running to head the Francophone West African country’s football governing body against Koffi Kouakou Paul, Sory Diabate and Idriss Diallo, who are also seeking the seat.
He needs nominations from three of the 14 Ivorian Ligue 1 clubs, two from the lower divisions as well as endorsements from coaches, doctors, current and former players and referees to clinch the top job.
Drogba represented Ivory Coast between 2002 and 2014 and is the country’s leading scorer with 65 goals from 105 caps, the country’s third-highest tally of international appearances after Didier Zokora (123) and Kolo Toure (120).