Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan took time out of a working visit to the Ivory Coast to drop by at the national team’s hotel in Abidjan ahead of Saturday’s match in the 2014 World Cup qualifying knockout.
The Ghanaian diplomat, who now heads the Elders, a forum of African personalities working for peace, justice and human rights, was welcomed to the Hotel Ivoire by the Ivorian FA chief Sidy Diallo and coach Sabri Lamouchi, before team captain Didier Drogba introduced his mates to the surprise guest.
Annan was later offered symbolic presents from the players and the FA, before wishing the Elephants success for their game against Senegal.
The Ivory Coast – Senegal encounter has been classified by Fifa as a risky meeting, prompting the local authorities to mobilise 1,700 police and gendarmes to secure the 34,000 seater Felix Houphout Boigny Stadium.
A dozen observation posts have been set up inside and outside the facility to dissuade clashes between supporters of both teams.
Their last meeting in Dakar degenerated into wide riots in and out of the stadium.