Former Ghanaian international footballer, Anthony Baffoe, has said he is living a fulfilled life after his active football career ended in 2006 because he made a personal decision to educate himself.
“Life after football has been good to me. It has been good to me because I have education. I studied events management, sports management, and international business. While I was playing, I was reading a lot of books to get certain knowledge. When I started with the Union, I had to deal with the rules and regulations. If I sit with the General Secretary or the President of the Ghana Football Association, I must know the rules and regulations in football to be at the same level. So I went back and read properly,” Baffoe said on The Lounge with Kwaku Sakyi-Addo.
Baffoe has served in various capacities in the football fraternity since his retirement. In 2006, he was appointed the director of international relations of the Black Stars. In 2009, he founded the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ghana (PFAG), an accredited body of FIFPRO, the worldwide representative of all professional players which seeks to build a strong relationship amongst professional footballers by sustaining and protecting their interests to provide them with life after football skills.
He was also appointed as ambassador against racism by the International Football Association (FIFA) and also serves as a Match Commissioner and General Coordinator for CAF and FIFA sanctioned tournaments.
Baffoe advised young football players to prepare for their future because “when you sign your first contract as a professional, don’t think your career will never end…You can’t cheat nature. When it’s over, it’s over.”
Baffoe disclosed that not only is he encouraging young footballers to save for their future, but his organization, the Professional Football Association of Ghana has created the ‘Life After Football Fund’ to give them an avenue to save.
“I don’t think that the government or the Ghana Football Association is responsible for your life after football. No! It’s we the footballers who have to show solidarity amongst ourselves to support each other,” he explained.
He considers it a privilege to still be involved in football; “the atmosphere, the chanting; I still have it as the general coordinator, I still go into the dressing room of the players, I’m still in the stadium. The only thing is I’m no more active on the pitch.”
“It was great to be a footballer but it is over; we are part of the museum; it’s history. You can write positive history and negative history,” he added.