ALMOST a decade after the Graphic Sports broke the story of the amputation of the left leg of former Black Stars player, Ben Adasi Fofie, he still remains virtually neglected by the nation he served so diligently.
Stucked in a wheel chair since March 31, 2000, after one of his legs, which made football talk and drew the crowds to the stadiums in the 1960s and early 1970s was amputated at the Sunyani Hospital after a battle with cancer turned gangrenous, the 75-year-old former utility player is a sorry sight living on the benevolence of well wishers.
“All that my nation has been doing for me is the payment of a quarterly amount of GH¢100 under a package instituted by former President Kufuor in 2008 for old players of the national team.
“ This means that the money is not given to me on the basis of my predicament, but for being an old player of the national team,” he told the Graphic Sports in Sunyani over the weekend.
Even then, he said, the payments had not been regular since last year.
For instance, he said, in the third quarter of 2009, only GH¢50 were paid to him while in the last quarter of the same year nothing was paid.
He indicated that he was finding it difficult to survive under the circumstances and sometimes he had to try his luck on lotto.
When the Graphic Sports broke the former national player’s predicament in a front page publication, it drew public outcry about the neglect of national players some of whom were living in abject poverty.
As a result of the publication, the National Sports Council (GFA) donated a wheel chair to Adasi Fofie and that ended it all.
Adasi Fofie was one of the greatest players to emerge from the Brong Ahafo Region and his contribution to the national game was phenomenal. After him came Agyemang Gyau and Kwasi Owusu among others.
He recalled the historic European tour of the Black Stars in 1961, which took them to Hungary, the Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and said, “Those were one of the moments I will never forget.”
Adasi Fofie joined BA United in 1960 and a year later was drafted into the Black Stars where he played alongside greats like Aggrey Fynn, Baba Yara, Wilberforce Mfum, Ofei Dodoo, Dogo Moro, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu and Joe Aikins.
Until the coup of 1966, he remained a key part of the national team, contributing his quota to the development of the game in Ghana.
He finally quit football in 1974 after 14 active years in the game.
Those were the years football was played for the love of the game and one’s nation or club.
Today Adasi Fofie lives in a single room in a family house at Number two, a Sunyani suburb, struggling to face up to the economic.