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Fabio Gama: Asante Kotoko chief Amponsah reveals details of 'risky' deal

18:42 GMT+3 23/11/2021
Fabio Gama Dos Santos Asante Kotoko
The Porcupine Warriors chief executive opens up on their acquisition of the former Brazil U17 star

Asante Kotoko chief executive officer Nana Yaw Amponsah is aware signing Brazilian attacker Fabio Gama was a risky piece of business, and the fact he need to relocate the player’s family added another layer of complexity to the deal.

The playmaker, whose signing attracted a lot of criticism, has been fan favourite in the Ghana Premier League since joining the Porcupine Warriors in a two-year deal last season.

Last month, he emerged as the Most Attractive Footballer in the national league, according to a nation-wide survey.

“We also had to dig deep into Fabio Gama, of course it was a huge risk,” Amponsah said during the African Sports Centre’s Ghana Premier League Webinar with the Johan Cruyff Institute.

“One of the things we had to do for Fabio Gama to succeed was to bring his family with him. He had to come with his wife and his child.

“That meant extra cost that could have put us off, but we felt that for him to settle, and also not to have distractions, it was important that we did that for him, and it paid off.

“So, in terms of the commercialization in every decision we take in Asante Kotoko, you cannot take it out. Every step is well calculated, we don’t always get it right but because we are very meticulous and very considerate of these factors, most at times we get it right.”

Gama was the third Brazilian to join Kotoko in recent times.

Before the deal, he last played in Sweden for Jonkopings Sondra, having also featured for a host of clubs in his homeland.

“This is a player with big history. He played for Brazil U-17, U-20, couldn’t make it to the very top as expected. He was playing in Europe, Sweden, had never come to Africa, you know you need to dig to find out whether he will adapt, his adaptation,” Amponsah added.

“And if you remember, when Fabio Gama came in, there was a lot of pressure on us to play him. Because some said he was a carpenter, some said we had brought in a farmer.

“But we had to be patient to give him at least one month of preparation, despite the pressure to ensure that he had trained properly, he had adjusted to the weather, and then he was ready before we unleashed him. And you realised that when we unleashed him, it paid off.

“It could have gone either way, but we weighed the risk factors and we believed that we had about 75%-85% chance of him performing.”

Last season, the Brazilian helped Kotoko to second-place finish in the Ghana Premier League.