Drogba hopes sad state of Ivory Coast improves
The Ivory Coast football team has done all it can to help end
the ”sad” state of the violence-racked West African country,
captain Didier Drogba said on Thursday.
A reported 400 people are dead as sitting president Laurent
Gbagbo has refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, who the
United Nations recognizes as the winner of November’s election.
Drogba, the Chelsea striker, has helped quell political strife
in the country before and is regarded as somewhat of a peace
”We as the national team, we sent a letter – a message – to the
different actors there and that is the maximum we can do at the
moment. Political problems shouldn’t create this kind of damage,”
Drogba said from the Barcelona Global Sports Forum. ”Ivory Coast
has never been like this. Politics is turning the country into
something we don’t want to see.
”It’s just sad, sad. But at the same time we tried something to
help the country.”
The letter was delivered to all sides in December, but has done
little in the face of Gbagbo bunkering down.
”Now it’s time for the main actors to do something. We did our
part and they have to remember that the most important thing is to
remember the population,” Drogba said. ”What else do you want us
to do? The situation is where it is but I think it can change and
we can find a solution.”
Drogba dismissed any future in politics as he instead focuses on
building hospitals in his native country through his
”Politics is not for me. Too many problems,” he said. ”I like
my position. If I decide to help I always try to do positive things
and people will judge me from my acts and not because I’m from this
party or another.”
Drogba couldn’t say whether an African Cup of Nations qualifier
scheduled to be played in Abidjan on March 25 would go ahead inside
the capital or be moved.
Drogba did say the absence of veteran defender Kolo Toure – who
failed a doping test – will complicate things.
”I think we all know how stupid it was the mistake, and I don’t
think he did it to improve his performance,” Drogba said. ”I
spoke to him and he was down. There’s not a big difference between
what is said by Arsene Wenger and what he said.”
Arsenal manager Wenger said former Gunners player Toure blamed
his positive drug test on a diet supplement belonging to the
Last year’s long-delayed elections were meant to reunify the
country which has been divided since a 2002 civil war.
Drogba hoped a victory against Benin would at least provide some
”We know the power of football,” Drogba said. ”We all hope
the impact of this game will be big and enough for us to give
people a little joy in this hard time.”