Africa

Drogba's mother dishes up for Ivory Coast fans

Clotilde Drogba, right, mother of Ivory Coast and Chelsea soccer star Didier Drogba, chops plantains as Ivorian soccer fans eat a lunch of chicken, rice, and potatoes at a dusty stadium on the outskirts of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Monday, 30 January 2012. Didier Drogba"s mother is preparing traditional Ivorian dishes for a group of 60 travelling Ivory Coast supporters at the African Cup of Nations
Image caption Clotilde Drogba hopes to be in the stadium to watch her son the semi-final

While Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba is on the football pitch, his mother is cooking for Africa Cup of Nations fans.

Clotilde Drogba's makeshift kitchen is at a dusty stadium on the outskirts of the Equatorial Guinea capital of Malabo, the Associated Press reports.

She serves up chicken and fish with rice, plantains and spicy sauces to fans, while her Chelsea star son eats at the hotel with the other players.

Mrs Drogba also prepared food for fans at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Drogba is one of the most famous people in Ivory Coast - last year he was named on the country's Truth Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission set up to ease the wounds after a bitter election dispute and years of division.

A group of about 60 fans has travelled to Equatorial Guinea, where the Ivory Coast team - the Elephants - are playing their opening matches - and every day they sit down to a plateful of traditional food cooked up by their star player's mother.

"Everyone has their thing and what they like to do,'' Mrs Drogba, wearing the orange of Ivory Coast, told AP after preparing lunch on Monday.

"This is not about my son, it is about supporting my country."

Mrs Drogba told AP that she watched Ivory Coast's opening two victories on a TV screen - in between cutting onions, tomatoes and chicken.

She added that she hopes to watch the semi-final in the stadium in Bata - if Drogba and his team-mates make it that far.

She says she respects the rules that means her son cannot eat her food - and eats only at a luxury hotel.

Even without her cooking, Mrs Drogba told the AP she is confident she will see her son finally lift the African Cup of Nations - which they are favourites to do.

"The team plays very well and it's my wish that they win the cup,'" she said.

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