FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to former Ghana national star Opoku Afriyie, who passed away on March 29, 2020.
Afriyie, a former Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak forward passed on following a short illness. The former Ghana captain was a member of Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations winning squads in 1978 and 1982.
In a letter to the President of the Ghana Football Association Kurt E.S Okraku on Tuesday, Infantino wrote:
“During his career, ‘Bayie’ was part of the famous national team that won the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1978 on home soil, scoring the two goals in the final against Uganda. He also took part in the 1980 edition in Nigeria. At club level, he will be remembered for his career at Asante Kotoko SC and at Accra Hearts of Oak SC.
“After his retirement, he went on to manage Asante Kotoko in 2003 and he has also served as the team manager and welfare officer of the Black Stars. One of Ghana football’s gentlemen, striker and two-time Ghana Premier League top-scorer, his legacy and trajectory on and off the pitch will not be forgotten and he will be truly missed.
“On behalf of the international football community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the Ghana Football Association, and to Afriyie’s family, friends and loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of you. May his soul rest in peace,” Infantino wrote.
Opoku Afriyie was top scorer in Ghana’s League twice in his career; in 1979 and two years later in 1981, when he led Kotoko to the league title.
Afriyie was ranked the eighth-best player in Africa in 1982.