Businessman Idriss Diallo was elected Saturday as head of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), in an election in the capital Yamoussoukro where former star striker Didier Drogba was eliminated in the first round.
"Mr. Idriss Diallo is elected president of FIF for the next four years," declared the president of the session, Mariam Dao Gabala, after the counting.
Mr. Diallo, a senior FIF official in the 2000s, received 63 votes against 61 for his rival in the second round, Sory Diabaté, another executive of the institution.
In the first round, the two men had largely overtaken Didier Drogba who had collected only 21 votes out of 130.
"I would like to congratulate Didier (Drogba) who had the courage to enter this race and who has made this election more than popular beyond our borders," said Diallo, in the wake of his election, promising to be lead the body fairly.
"The elections went well, I congratulate the new president for his election," the former Chelsea striker said after the polls.
Drogba has been criticized in recent weeks for not being conversant with local soccer and for having made a minimal campaign, without sufficiently campaigning on the ground.
This election is supposed to put an end to a long governance crisis at the head of FIF.
It had been repeatedly postponed since 2020, because of a setback in the system of sponsorship of candidates that had then blocked the candidacy of Didier Drogba.
FIF was placed under supervision in December 2020 by Fifa, which then installed a "Normalization Committee".
The new president of the institution, a former leader of the largest national club Asec Mimosas from 1984 to 1998 will have the task of restoring Ivorian soccer back to its initial glory.
He will have to appoint a new national head coach since the contract with Patrice Beaumelle has not been renewed.
Côte d'Ivoire did not qualify for the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 after it was eliminated in the AFCON quarter-finals in the last two competitions.
For several years, Ivorian clubs have also been eliminated in the first rounds of the African Champions League.
The country will host the next CAN from June 23 to July 23, 2023.