Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is promising to provide a bus for each of the 76 clubs in Cote d’Ivoire’s top 2 divisions if he wins the Ivorian FA elections.
In addition each of the 14 elite clubs will receive a starting sum of 150 million CFA (approximately $268,000), the 24 Ligue 2 football clubs take 50 million CFA (approximately $90,000) whilst the Division 3 clubs receive 30 million CFA (approximately $54,000) following the elections.
Drogba was mobbed by thousands of adoring fans as he submitted his candidacy to become president of Ivory Coast football.
The 42-year-old will compete with four other hopefuls for the position after launching his bid in the country’s economic capital Abidjan.
The elections to be top chief at the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation take place on September 5.
And the former striker hopes his achievements throughout his distinguished club career and with The Elephants will help him be voted in.
Indeed the surrounding streets were full of fans desperate to get a glimpse of their idol, carry banners and wearing T-shirts adorned with Drogba’s face.
However, despite his popularity with football fans in the country, he is still not certain to be on the ballot.
Didier Drogba suffered from several setbacks in the race to become the new President of the Ivorian Football Federations (FIF), with the endorsement received by the Referee Association invalidated by federation’s legal arm. He also failed to seduce the Footballers Union who makes up the five interest groups.
In his ‘renaissance’ project the former Ivorian football international and Chelsea legend has outlined innovative plans which will see clubs from all three divisions benefit from his campaign. Also, players’ insurance and the reorganization of the inferior championships are included in his plans.
Drogba needs nominations from three of the 14 Ligue 1 clubs and two from the lower divisions.
The two-time African Football of the Year must also have the endorsement of any of five special interest groups of coaches, doctors, current and former players and referees, according to Reuters.
And his candidacy has already suffered a big blow after the Ivory Coast Footballers Association controversially did not support him.
Drogba said: “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.”
The Blues icon added: “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.”
Didier Drogba remains the Ivory Coast all-time top scorer with 65 goals. He guided the Elephants finish runners-up of the Nations Cup twice and was named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009.
He is also the country’s third most-capped player of all time after Didier Zokora (123) and Kolo Toure (120).
Didier Drogba Plans
● D1: 150 million + one bus per club
● D2: 50 million + one bus per club
● D3: 30 million + one bus per club
● Insurance for all stakeholders
● A reorganization of the regional division championship, the district championship as well as the training centers
● Negotiations with hotel and catering establishments for better support for teams during travel. Etc
● Construction of sports infrastructure.