The nervous wait by fans of Accra Hearts of Oak to see their darling boy Benjamin Afutu Kotey renew his contract with the Phobians is almost over, after the player and his representatives held fruitful talks with the club’s majority share holder, Togbe Afede XIV to settle the dust.
Hearts of Oak have had efforts to renew the contract of their star midfielder prove futile despite the club’s participation in the ongoing CAF Champions League after winning the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League (GPL) title, and fans have been swung around by varied reports in the media, leaving them wonder what the actual problem is. As at now, ghanasportspage.com can confidently report that the former Karela United star is set to renew his contract with the capital based club, which could pave way for him to feature for the Phobians in their CAF Champions League group stage play-off first leg game against Wydad Athletic Club on October 17.
For the records, it would be recalled that Benjamin Afutu, via his representatives, signed a pre-contract agreement with Tunisian Ligue 1 outfit Stade Tunisien back in March this year. At the time, Afutu was into the last four months of his contract with Accra Hearts of Oak, and was free by regulations to enter into a pre-contract with any club.
“Benjamin Afutu has signed a pre-contact with Stade Tunisien. We made two offers for Hearts of Oak but the club refused so we decided to wait to see his contract out since it was left with four months on his contract”, the player’s agent Yanga Mabele is quoted in an interview with Accra based Vision 1 FM, which was published by ghanasoccernet.com.
Afutu proved very instrumental for Accra Hearts of Oak in the 2020/21 GPL season, where he won both the league and the FA Cup with the club. His rise under coach Samuel Boadu made the Phobians ready to renew his contract with he club, as coach Boadu needs him at all coast for Hearts of Oak’s participation in the continental inter club competition while awaiting the start of the the 2021/22 GPL season.
On the contrary, Afutu is unable to sign a new contract with Hearts of Oak due to his earlier agreement with the Tunisian side Stade Tunisien. Unfortunately for Afutu, Stade Tunisie finished 13th on the Tunisian 14-team league table, amassing just 29 points in 26 games. The club has subsequently been relegated into the second tier of the Tunisian league, and the Hearts of Oak fans favourite Afutu is not ready to play in the lower division league, but must terminate his contract with Stade Tunisien before he is able to renew with Accra Hearts of Oak. Meanwhile, the cost involved in terminating such contract is huge, and Afutu needs financial aid to be able to do that.
Following a successful meeting between Accra Hearts of Oak Executive Board Chairman and majority shareholder of the club, Togbe Afede XIV and the player’s representatives on Friday, the two parties have reached agreement on the way forward. Now, barring any twist, Hearts of Oak will help the player terminate his contract by paying the amount involved, to pave the way for him to renew his contract with the Phobians.
According to our source, Afutu will sign three years contract with Hearts of Oak with the player receiving a monthly salary between GHC9,000 to GHC10,000. However, Hearts of Oak will deduct from his signing on fee the amount the club will pay to Stade Tunisien for the termination of Afutu’s precontract with them.
Afutu is now expected to sign a contract renewal with Accra Hearts of Oak in the coming days and be available for coach Samuel Boadu as he prepares his squad for the Wydad Athletic Club visit. Afutu was duly registered by Hearts of Oak for the ongoing CAF Champions League competition.
Afutu joined Hearts of Oak in a three-year deal from Karela United in 2018 under the then coach Frank Eliot Nutall, after scoring 5 goals and making 7 assists in 25 appearances for Karela United in the second tier league to help the club secure promotion to the top flight the previous season.