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However, one of the irregularities found in the 42-year-old’s candidacy was that two of his sponsors were found to have also backed his opponent,FIF's first vice-president Sory Diabate. They are Ivorian top flight side Africa Sports and a body representing referees, AMAF-CI.
The removal of Africa Sports’ backing left Drogba with two nominations fromLigue 1 clubs, which means he did not meet the electoral requirements of having at least three from the 14 top-flight outfits.
Paul Koffi Kouadio is another candidate who had his bid rejected, leaving incumbent vice-president Diabate and former FIF vice-president Yacine Idriss Diallo as the two cleared for the vote.
Drogba and Kouadio, however, have a five-day window to appeal the electoral body’s verdict.
The AFI’s negligence of Drogba has drawn condemnation from the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) who suspended the body as a member of their organisation.
Drogba played for the Ivory Coast between 2002 and 2014 before calling time on his international career.
Heis the country’s all-time top scorer with 65 goals after105 games, the country’s third-highest tally of international appearances after Didier Zokora (123) and Kolo Toure (120).