Ghana football legends Abedi Ayew Pele, Samuel Osei Kuffour and Anthony Baffoe are among a host of former African football icons who are expected to grace two all-star charity matches organised by the Kanu Heart Foundation and Nelson Mandela Foundation in Nigeria and South Africa starting later this month.
The Ghanaian trio was yesterday named among a star-studded list of 46 African soccer legends, who have confirmed their participation in the matches, which will be played over two legs.
The first charity match will take place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on April 29 before the legends play another charity match at a venue yet to be confirmed in South Africa on May 27 to show support for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and also bring the legends back to the field on play.
The two matches were initially scheduled to take place in Nigeria and South Africa on April 8 and May 6 respectively before they were pushed forward.
Mohammed Mustapha, the general secretary of African Football Legends Organisation, who are organising the matches, said apart from raising funds for the two organisations, they also wanted to reunite all the iconic legends on the continent.
“Everything is set for the event. It’s important for people to support it for two reasons: one big reason is to support the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to support this legacy,” Mustapha was quoted in the Nigerian media.
“Apart from raising funds for the two foundations, we also wanted to reunite these football legends,” he said.
The Kanu Heart Foundation was founded in 2000 by two-time African Player of the Year winner, Nigerian football hero Nwankwo Kanu, to help save underprivileged African children who are battling heart disease.
The star-studded list is headlined by the only African to win the Fifa Footballer of the Year, George Weah from Liberia alongside three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi Pele, Samuel Kuffour, Patrick Mboma of Cameroon, Anthony Baffoe (Ghana) and Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia).
Also expected are Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), El-Hadji Diouf (Senegal), Frédéric Kanouté (Mali) and South Africans Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Mark Fish and Phil Masinga.
Kanu will be joined by a host of his Nigerian counterparts such as Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro, Garba Lawal, Victor Ikpeba, Taribo West, Uche Okechukwu, Peter Rufai, Emmanuel Amuneke and Samson Siasia.