Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba lost a controversial bid to become president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation when he was eliminated after the first round of voting at Saturday’s elective congress.

The former Chelsea star polled only 21 votes in a three-way race, with the two other candidates, Yacine Idriss Diallo (59) and Sory Diabate (50) polling more than double his tally. Diallo won a second round to decide the presidency of the federation.

Drogba’s candidacy had been disputed last year when he first attempted to stand for election but did not receive the required support from clubs and other interest groups, such as the players’ union and coaches’ association, whose nominations he needed to get on the ballot.

FIFA then stepped in to dissolve the federation, putting the control of Ivorian football under a ‘normalisation committee’ while the statutes and electoral code were rewritten.

It allowed Drogba, 44, to stand but while he received much public encouragement, he garnered little support inside the Ivorian football community.

Earlier this week he was accused of pulling out of a live television debate with the other two candidates hours before it was due to be aired on television, according to a statement released by the state broadcaster. The debate went ahead without him.

The Ivory Coast hosts next year’s Africa Cup of Nations final.

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