Didier Drogba’s hopes of becoming the next president of the Ivory Coast’s football federation has suffered a major blow after the failure of his fellow players to support his candidacy.
The association, whose secretary general is former Drogba’s national teammate Aruna Dindane, overwhelmingly picked Diallo over Drogba.
“The majority of our members decided to grant our endorsement to the list led by Mr. Idriss Diallo,” said a statement by the Association of Ivorian Footballers, adding they were remaining loyal to a grouping formed three years ago to contest the elections, before Drogba had declared his candidacy.
Drogba has also failed to win the endorsement of the referees and the association of former professionals, who are supporting rival Sory Diabate.
The former striker must now receive the endorsement of the association of football medical practitioners to be able to stand in the election on Sept. 5. Their decision is expected in the coming weeks.
On top of the endorsement of one of the special interest groups, candidates must also nominated by three of the 14 Ligue 1 clubs and two from the lower divisions.
Drogba played in three World Cups with the Ivory Coast and twice helped them to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, also earning cult status among fans for his exploits with Chelsea in the Premier League and Champions League.
Born in Abidjan in 1978, 42-year-old Drogba left the West African country for France when he was about five years of age.
It is in France and later England where his football career developed and flourished.