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Ivory Coast: CAF and FIFA try to interfere in FIF affairs

During successive meetings with Alassane Ouattara, the bosses of FIFA and then CAF tried to convince the Ivorian head of state to support Didier Drogba in the election for the presidency of the FIF.

While he was on a trip to Côte d'Ivoire to discuss the progress of the organization of the next African Cup of Nations (CAN), scheduled for 2023, Patrice Motsepe, the president of the African Football Confederation (CAF) seemed to have another idea in mind when meeting the Ivorian head of state Alassane Ouattara. This April 4, the two men indeed found themselves face-to-face around another subject that interests the South African: the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).

Since November 2020 and the death of Augustin Sidy Diallo, the presidency of the FIF has been vacant. The election was to be held on several occasions but could never take place. On March 23, it was finally supposed to take place but has been postponed again. Blame it on disagreements, concerning the new rules for candidacies, between CAF, FIFA, the FIF Standardization Committee (CN-FIF) chaired by Mariam Dao Gabala, and the main candidates for the presidency of the FIF, including Idriss Diallo, Dider Drogba and Sory Diabaté.

Theoretically, the ballot should be held on April 23. However, CAF and FIFA seem to want Didier Drogba to be the winner of the election. But the former Elephant is not the favorite. However, CAF, which observed the election for the presidency of the Cameroonian Football Federation, knows well that predictions can be thwarted.

Ouattara does not want interference

Problem: CAF and FIFA Gianni Infantino would be a little too offensive and inclined to interfere in Ivorian affairs. Alassane Ouattara reportedly didn't appreciate the Italian-Swiss FIFA president's attempt to press for Drogba. The Ivorian president prefers to stay away from this basket of crabs. Especially since many cases dot the election: Didier Drogba and Idriss Diallo, for example, are accused of not having settled their debts to those who had sold them shares in the Ity gold mine.

Certainly sent by Infantino, Motsepe therefore once again tried to broach the subject of the FIF election. The South African dreams of seeing again, in Côte d'Ivoire, the scenario of the consensus which brought him to the presidency of CAF to reproduce. Motsepe would therefore have asked Alassane Ouattara to bring together Idriss Diallo and Sory Diabaté, and convince them to withdraw in favor of the former captain of the Ivorian selection. What Ouattara would have once again categorically refused.

For the Ivorian head of state, it is a question of letting the three candidates for the FIF fight fairly, but, above all, of meeting the deadlines. Because in less than a year and a half, Côte d'Ivoire will host the CAN and there is still work to do for the competition to take place in optimal conditions. After the Cameroonian failure, Ouattara wants to look good.

Faced with Alassane Ouattara's refusal to intervene, Patrice Motsepe changed his tune and told the voters - the club presidents - that he had no favorite candidate. Enough to keep a minimum chance of having an ally with Sory Diabaté, the favorite, if the latter is elected.

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