Another footballer wins election.
Inhabitants of Vavoua, a city located in central part of the country, have elected former Ivorian international Bonaventure Kalou as their mayor.
The former Paris Saint Germain, PSG, Auxerre and Feyenoord player ran as an independent candidate at Saturday’s municipal elections.
“I have a feeling of pride and I have an emotional thought for my father, (who died in 2016) who would have liked to be mayor of this area, I’m following in his footsteps,” he said after his victory was confirmed.
“It is often thought that footballers are good only to hit the ball, we confine them in a role. I wanted to get out of this scheme. You can be a footballer and do politics or become an intellectual.”
Mayor Kalou will be leading a city of over half a million inhabitants ravaged by poverty despite being the world’s largest producer of cocoa.
“There is a sense of pride and also relief at having been elected against an electoral apparatus,” Kalou told the media.
“This fight was also for other footballers. It is often thought that footballers are good only to hit the ball, we confine them in a role. I wanted to get out of this scheme. You can be a footballer and do politics or become an intellectual,” he added.
Kalou reached fifty caps with Ivory Coast before retiring from international assignment. He won the Coupe de France twice during his time at PSG and Auxerre and also won the Dutch championship with Feyenoord.
Bonaventure, 40, is elder brother of Solomon Kalou. He featured in the 2006 World Cup in Germany playing two matches and scoring once. He is the latest ex player to join politics following Liberia’s president George Weah in 2018 who won the presidency after three attempts.