When the National Football Team of Ghana played a recent friendly match against the United States, all eyes were on Samuel Sarfo, a player who has gone from police corporal to team security guard to central defender.
The Black Stars fell 1-2 against the Stars and Stripes, but this match was a personal victory for Sarfo, an active duty constable in Ghana’s Criminal Investigations Department, a position that often requires him to work undercover as a plainclothes detective. The defender plays for the Liberty Professionals for a local league, and his debut for the Black Stars has resulted in a cap for Ghana’s next international match against Ethiopia, a qualifier for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Sarfo is known as a resilient defender who looks for scoring opportunities, particularly in corner kick situations. His personal record at Liberty Professionals is six goals, unusual for a back line player. Sarfo’s club performance has caught the attention of scouts from South Africa who believe that he could be a good match for the Absa Premiership. He is currently captain of his club and a regular starter, but his contract is coming up later this year. The Absa Premiership has been enjoying an influx of cash and player signings from other African leagues, and thus Sarfo is in a good position to further his professional football career. Whether he would be willing to give up his police post remains to be seen.
For the 26-year-old Sarfo, being called up to the back line of the Black Stars is an honor comparable to serving in the national police force. He sees both roles as part of his civic duty. It so happens that Sarfo was also a member of the National Team’s security detail just a year ago.
Sarfo grew up with a few of the players currently playing for the Black Stars. He was not able to join the national squad at a younger age, but he balanced his police duties with football and quickly became a starter with the Liberty Professionals. In fact, he used to take selfies with major stars such as Asamoah Gyan, the current Black Stars captain who plays in the lucrative leagues of Dubai.
In the last match of 2016 between Ghana and Rwanda, Sarfo was still wearing his security guard uniform. Now he is wearing the colors of the national kit and could not be any happier.
Photo Credits: Samuel Sarfo -Twitter @Samuel_Sarfo12