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At the FIF, the construction sites of Yacine Idriss Diallo

In search of sponsors, the new boss of the Ivorian Football Federation, Yacine Idriss Diallo, is working to revive the body, which has long remained immersed in a political crisis.

Within the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), the crisis has lasted too long. After being vacant between November 2020 and May 2022, the presidency is now held by Yacine Idriss Diallo. It will have taken time to digest the multiple postponements of elections and the wars between candidates. After beating Didier Drogba - yet supported by FIFA - and Sory Diabaté in a very tight ballot, Diallo took the reins of the FIF and has already got to work.

This Thursday morning, Africa Intelligence announces that the new president of the Ivorian Football Federation "has entered into discussions with several companies in order to finalize the budget for the 2022-2023 season". In search of new sponsors, Yacine Idriss Diallo forms a shock tandem with Ahmadou Touré, member of the executive committee of the FIF and associated with him in the business world. The search for new partners seems to be one of the priorities of the Ivorian football boss. But not the only one.

The first is reconciliation. As in politics, at the top of the state, Diallo needs to unite. And, as soon as he was elected, he warned that he wanted to "work with Didier Drogba and Sory Diabaté", his two competitors in the election. "I insist on the fact that I want to be a president of openness", he sums up.

Increase FIF's annual budget

On the financial side, the Ivorian football boss wants to increase the budget of the FIF from 6 to 9 billion CFA francs, or more than 13 million euros. Hence its active search for sponsors. Which began on the day of his election. The Ivorian press notes that, on June 3, the operator Orange came back in force, after a long absence, for an Elephants match against Zambia. In addition, the FIF and Canal Plus have begun negotiations to make their partnership permanent.

Last May, Diallo claimed to come with several new sponsors in his suitcase as president. “I obviously cannot reveal the names, but there is already a pool of economic partners who are ready to work with the FIF,” he explained. With a desire: to turn to the private sector. “The FIF must find new resources: we cannot ask everything from the Ivorian state, which has other priorities than football,” assured the president of the body.

Give the reins of selection to an Ivorian

His steps alongside Ahmadou Touré are therefore essential, especially a year and a half before the next African Cup of Nations (CAN) which will take place in Côte d'Ivoire. In addition to finances, Diallo must also strive to put the athlete back at the center of his project. In May, the boss of the FIF appointed Jean-Louis Gasset as coach, while the contract of Patrice Beaumelle had not been renewed.

Diallo then wanted to "entrust the selection to a duo composed of a foreign coach, with solid references, and an Ivorian, who has his coaching diplomas". It is Faé Emerse who has been appointed deputy, as if to prepare for the future: that of a selection of the Elephants which will one day be coached by an Ivorian. "After two years, there will have been a transfer of skills between the first and the second, and the Ivorian can then take the place of the foreign coach," says Diallo.

Yacine Idriss Diallo is therefore currently working to put the Ivorian Football Federation back on track – both financially and sportingly. A real project that will take time. But in barely a quarter, Diallo has already made good progress. This bodes well for a very positive mandate, if it continues in this way.

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