Drogba wants Ivorian unity
Didier Drogba now looks at life from a new perspective because of the recent bloodshed in his native Ivory Coast.
Last Updated: 20/09/11 8:57pm
Didier Drogba returns to action with Chelsea on Wednesday admitting that his life has been put into a whole new perspective because of the recent bloodshed in his native Ivory Coast.
Violence flared in the African country last November when incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down despite election results showing he had lost to opponent Alassane Ouattara.
Over 3,000 people died, including some of Drogba's friends and family.
The 33-year-old was alarmed by what happened in his homeland and now hopes to play a leading role in bringing peace to the country as part of a truth and reconciliation panel similar to the one which helped South Africa come together after apartheid.
Drogba, who will play against Fulham on Wednesday following three weeks out with a head injury, concedes the violence has helped him realise his life on the pitch is not as important as events in his homeland.
He said: "I wasn't there when it happened but I have lost some people who are really important to me and for this reason I think I see life with different eyes, from a much different perspective.
"When people close to you die it is difficult to take but you have to go on and that's why I have become involved as I don't want it to happen again."
Drogba insists the panel's role will not be to judge who was responsible for the deaths, but only to bring harmony to the country once more.
"Blaming people is not my ambition," he said. "That's not how I feel. We are not here to blame. We are here to listen. We will be here to help people and find the way of living together and peace.
"If we judge people we will go nowhere."
Drogba, who met with members of the panel in central London today, says the move is not an indication that he will take up a role in politics after he has retired from football.
"As an Ivorian I hope I can help the panel but, no, I will never pursue a career in politics," he added.