18th June 2014
In 2006 Côte d’Ivoire’s qualification came in the midst of a complex political and military conflict that paralyzed government and stalled development for nearly a decade, and the team became a vital symbol of national unity. During the 2010 World Cup as well, the country was tense, with elections meant to end the crisis just months away. Now, things are settling down; the economy is reviving, and political life, though still marked by the conflict years, is resuming.
- Siddhartha Mitter, Low expectations of the golden generation
The national team means a lot to this country. I think that today - and I choose my words carefully here - it is Cote d’Ivoire’s only unifying force. All our ethnic groups are now represented in the team - Baoules, Betes, and so on. They are all there. So there’s a complete cross-section in the Cote d’Ivoire team and I think that it’s the only good example there is today. We’re trying to move forward, we’re trying to get back on our feet, to show people through football that we can live together.
- Didier Drogba