As I read the election results among the Association of Former Ivorian players regarding the hot seat, I could see how the people that had the power to vote never made their populace proud.
If this Legend was a Nigerian and had taken these appropriate steps, I think he would have gotten there almost immediately. Nigerians stand for truth, especially when it has to do with football. Let's see what these sports-loving Ivorians will do when they go to the main polls in weeks to come.
Didier Drogba would be "the new kid on the block" for the Ivorians as they try to bounce back to getting control of West African football. It shouldn't be a choice but an option. Yes, but so far they thought otherwise.
Didier is the asset in the hands of these football stakeholders. Forget your differences and make use of him by bringing back the light on the faces of your people.
I don't have to elaborate on the affluence, influence, and successes Didier has had even abroad, which qualifies him to represent the Ivorians in this capacity. This is the man that is fit for such a position. Successful in his field, influential in the industry and mostly carries the humor that the people expect of him as a leader.
Let us say it as it is;
*We remember the very crucial role Didier played in bringing back peace to his people.
* He was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
*He was part of the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission to help restore peace to his people.
*Remember, he was named among the world's 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2010.
*Donated 3 million pounds out of his sign-on fees for the building of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan handled by his foundation.
*He teamed up with sportswear brand Nike and U2 frontman Bono on the eve of World AIDS Day to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
*Openly stood up with a team of sportsmen to fight the Ebola virus.
*His meetings that included Kylian Mbape and George Weah with the French president and FIFA president on Football development projects in Africa are fresh on our memories.
*The Stade Levallois Sporting Club where Drogba featured in the amateur renamed their stadium Stade Didier Drogba since he helped the club remain in existence and helped them enhance their stadium to attain modern sports facilities standards for the benefit of the local district.
*Currently, he is largely involved by donating his hospital facilities and palliatives to the aid of the COVID-19 outbreak in his country.
I met Didier Drogba one-on-one in Hamburg Germany. I was amazed at his humble nature. He walked past everyone since we had a lot of white folks trying to gain his attention, but immediately I sounded his name he gave me the few minutes that made me have a good impression about him. He is also the mentor for all my academy boys and girls back in Nigeria. I have his image on our academy Jeep and I am proud because he represents everything every academy player would aspire to be. The Nigeria Football Federation officials asked why I decided to use the image of Didier Drogba instead of certain Nigerian players. I smiled and explained how the Ivorian has a huge spot in my heart.
Let the Ivorian footballers come together and agree for once, that the stakeholders would be fair with Ivorian football, by placing someone there that wouldn't only have the love of this game at heart, but one who is also able to stand in the face of FIFA and plan the future of African football concurrently.
Didier's win wouldn't be a win for the Ivorian people alone but for 'African football' comprehensively.
Austin Akpehe is the Executive Chairman/CEO of Galaxy Sports Academy Nigeria. On behalf of management we wish, our friend, mentor, and big brother, the best of luck in the coming elections in the next weeks.