August 11 – Former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba has stepped down from his post as vice-president of his national federation (AFI), accusing it of “inaction” on defending player interests.
“I hereby announce I have decided to resign from my post as vice-president of the AFI and from its executive committee,” the former Chelsea attacker said in an open letter to the media.
Instead of defending players’ rights and interests, he said the AFI “does not respond to their needs and expectations”.
Drogba had been widely expected to head the federation in elections last year but failed to gain enough support.
The AFI is one of the five bodies that can sponsor a candidate but backed incumbent vice-president of the FA, Idriss Diallo, for the presidential seat over a member of their own ranks. Because of that move, Drogba could not officially enter the race.
Critics at the time said he had has shown zero interest in local football and since his retirement in 2014 had not attended a single national team game though FIFpro sided with Drogba and has placed the AFI under indefinite suspension.
The former Chelsea star blasted the AFI for showing a “flagrant lack of coherence”.
“To all Ivorian football players … we are all aware of the financial difficulties you are facing in the face of the inaction of the majority of the leaders of the AFI, which is supposed to represent you and defend your rights and interests,” Drogba wrote.
“The AFI is at a standstill. It no longer meets your needs or expectations. The bad decisions that have followed one another have led to the deterioration of the very fundamentals of the organisation.”
Specifying that members of AFI had failed to properly consult players on key decisions and generally demonstrated disrespect towards those they represent, he added: “I join in your incomprehension in the face of this flagrant lack of coherence. The AFI belongs to you (the players).”
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