Nana Akufo Addo Did Ghana's President really play for the Black Stars?

The President is known to have been a footballer in his hey days, but is it true that he played for Ghana's revered national team?

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play Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (R) meets FIFA President Gianni Infantino
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At the Flagstaff House on Monday, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo welcomed FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who had flown into the West African nation for a one-day working visit.

Amid other interests of discussion, Nana Addo informed Infantino of his love for football, even confessing: "I, since my childhood, have been an unrepentant supporter of Real Madrid."

READ MORE: Pictures FIFA President Gianni Infantino arrives in Ghana

The 72-year-old, who won last December's General Elections to become Ghana's fifth President of the fourth Republic, has never hidden his passion for the 'Beautiful Game'.

play FIFA President Gianni Infantino meets Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo


In April 2016, Nana Addo, amid admitting to supporting local giants Asante Kotoko, told Accra-based Starr FM that he is a football fanatic who watches the sport to relax.

READ MORE: Gianni Infantino Help me to develop football: FIFA President tells Ghana

Indeed, the President is known to have played football rather than to have just watched it during his youthful years.

In 2007, during campaigning ahead of the 2008 elections which he eventually lost, Nana Addo, the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), jovially boasted about having been a "schemer" (play maker)for the football team of Legon Hall during his years as a student at the University of Ghana.

In a humorous analogy, he went on to say that his opponent for the election, the late Prof. JEA Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was a "stopper" (defender) for the same Legon Hall team and that if the Ghanaian electorate wanted a pointer as to who to vote for, they should remember that in football, bets are placed on strikers and not defenders.

play Nana Akufo-Addo recently received a surprise visit by Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba


The knowledge that he was a footballer as a young man has birthed a myth that suggests that he had a brief stint playing for Ghana's senior national football team during his hey days back in the 60s.

READ MORE: Chelsea Legend President Akufo-Addo gets surprise visit from Didier Drogba

But did Nana Addo, whose father was President of Ghana from 1970 to 1972, really play for the Black Stars?

The answer?


Nana Addo never played for the Black Stars, but he did play for a version close to it.

The President once played for the 'Ambassadors', the second/B team of the now defunct Ghana league side Real Republikans.

play Real Republikans (Yenkassa)


"Yes, it's true," confirms Dogo Moro, a former Ghana international defender and player of Real Republikans. "Nana Addo was a young footballer in those days and I remember he played for the B team of Republikans."

READ MORE: 1995 World Best Footballer George Weah pays courtesy call on Prez Akufo-Addo

Republikans, formed in 1961 and disbanded in 1966, was a super-club founded on the instructions of of Ghana's first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

"Talented young boys from schools were recruited to form a 'B' side for Republikans," Moro explains. "It was common in those days for top clubs to have second teams: Hearts had 'Auroras', Kotoko had 'Anokye Stars', Great Olympics had 'Dade' and so on."

The late decorated footballer and coach Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, who once played for the Ambassadors and its main senior side Republikans, also recalled in a conversation with this writer in 2013 having played with Nana Addo.

READ MORE: In Memoriam The tale of Kwame Nkrumah and Real Madrid

The reason why anyone would think the President played for the Black Stars is simple: Real Republikans was formed to be a 'shadow' Black Stars team. It was the wish of Nkrumah and Ohene Djan, the great Ghana Sports Director, to have a club where the nation's best footballers would play together and get used to each other so it would translate to success for the Black Stars.

READ MORE: C.K Gyamfi's Memoirs The day Kwame Nkrumah summoned the Black Stars coach

This aim meant they recruited the two best players of Ghana's top clubs to form the team. Real Republikans was thus like a Black Stars team in a club format, and so anyone associated with the club - even if it was with its second team - was bound to be automatically assumed to be a part of the Black Stars establishment.

Some unconfirmed accounts also claim that Nana Addo was once associated with the 'Ghana Academicals' (a junior national team in the 1960s made up of the country's best secondary school-based footballers), even serving as a secretary at some point.

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