On September 19, 2002, troops hostile to President Laurent Gbagbo invaded three cities, including Abidjan, sparking the start of the Cote D’Ivoire civil war.
The civil war raged for five long years until football proved to be a salve for hurts and a unifying force for all.
Didier Drogba requested that the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Cote D’Ivoire and Madagascar take place in Bouake, a rebel stronghold, on June 3, 2007.
It was an attempt to reunite the country of Cote D’Ivoire, as he was from the south. The 5-0 triumph was completed off by Drogba’s game-winning goal, sparking wild celebrations throughout the whole country
“It was very special to see both leaders side by side for the national anthems,” he said to the Telegraph, the only English news organisation that went to Abidjan to speak with Didier Drogba.
With a smile, Drogba responded, “All Africans,” when asked who had helped him in accomplishing so. Above all, though, I am one of them.
There were screams and excitement throughout the stadium. This verified that the Civil War had ended. The Ivorian football players said, “We promised you that the celebration would unite the people,” and from now on all supporters will receive what they promised.