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Drogba: Chelsea legend waits as Fifa postpones Ivorian Football Federation elections

22:49 GMT+3 09/03/2022
Didier Drogba
The 43-year-old will have to wait to find out if he will eventually lead his country’s football body

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will wait a little longer to determine whether he would become the next Ivorian Football Federation boss, following the postponement of the country’s elections.

Disputes over the eligibility of candidates - including the former African Player of the Year - have inspired an 18-month delay for the polls originally billed for September 2020.

The new date was scheduled for March 23, albeit, it has now been postponed indefinitely at the request of the Confederation of African Football and the Federation of International Football Association.

Fifa rejected the system of sponsorship of candidates by Ivorian clubs, which it said could hinder certain applications.

This was made known in a letter made available to Bein Sport by the chairman of the FIF's standardization committee, Mariam Dao Gabala.

"Following the joint letter from Caf and Fifa dated 4 March 2022 and after the exchanges with the active members, the standardization committee of the Ivorian Football Federation announces the suspension of the electoral process started on Saturday, March 5, 2022," the statement read.

African legend Drogba is contesting against Sory Diabate, a member of the outgoing FIF Executive Committee and Idris Diallo, former vice-president of FIF.

Despite his popularity, there was doubt Drogba could meet the eligibility requirements after the Ivory Coast Footballers Association (AFI) failed to endorse his candidacy which drew the disappointment of the African section of the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) by suspending them.

He, however, met the requirements which were endorsements from three Ivorian Ligue 1 clubs, two Ligue 2 clubs, two Championnat Division 3 clubs and an interest group.

In the wake of the entanglement rocking Ivorian football, Fifa appointed a normalisation committee to run the affairs of the Ivorian Football Federation.

Drogba, 42, played for the West African nation between 2002 and 2014 before calling time on his international career. He is the country’s all-time top scorer with 65 goals after 105 games, the country’s third-highest tally of international appearances after Didier Zokora (123) and Kolo Toure (120).

He featured at five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013) and three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014).