In late 2005, as Ivory Coast attempted to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in a match against Sudan, the nation was engulfed in a bitter civil war that raged seemingly without hope of resolution. Immediately after helping his team seal a win against Sudan that secured Ivory Coast a place in the World Cup for the first time, star striker Didier Drogba used the national media exposure to make an impassioned plea for the combatants to lay down their arms. Encouraging all players (Christians and Muslims) to get on their knees, Drogba, a practising Catholic, made the following broadcast to the President:
“Men and women of Ivory Coast; from the north, south, centre, and west, we proved today that all Ivorians can coexist and play together with a shared aim: to qualify for the World Cup.
"An African country with so many riches should not be at war. Please lay down your weapons and call elections. Everything will be better.
"We want to have fun, so stop firing your guns.”
Watch the emotional scene as Drogba encourages the Ivory coast to choose the path of peace and democracy.
The president Laurent Gbagbo was so moved that fighting ceased and new elections were called.
Can you find other examples of sports stars around the world using their platform to show powerful acts of solidarity with others?