Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan was on Tuesday night honored with the Order of the Star Award at the second edition of the Calcio Trade Ball Awards.
The award ceremony which is an initiative of Arthur Legacy Sports and supported by the Italian Embassy is organized annually to celebrate the efforts of the close to hundred Ghanaian players who ply their trade in Italy.
Among the distinguished personalities who gathered at the residence of the Italian Ambassador to Ghana to witness the colourful ceremony were the Italian Ambassador himself Giovanni Favilli, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku, Vice President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) George Afriyie, Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah, Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan, Africa football legend, Abedi Pele and a host of current and former footballers who once played in the Italian league.
The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Giovanni Favilli used the platform to shed more light on the integral role football has played in enhancing the relationship between his country and Ghana. He revealed that Italy is a home to 89 Ghanaian footballers which is the highest in Europe.
“Football is very important to all us. Football is a beautiful game; we all enjoy it with passion and beauty. Football is also important in the relationship between Ghana and Italy. There 89 Ghanaian footballers in Italy, the highest in Europe”, he said.
Hon. Catherin Afeku said that her outfit is aware of the potential benefit Ghana could gain from sports as tool for tourism and that plans are far advanced to explore that aspect of tourism. She also commended the organizers for coming out with such initiative.
“I want use this occasion to thank our gallant players, the Italian Embassy and Arthur Legacy. We know there is sports tourism and I don’t want to jump the gun but we have surprises for you and at the right time we announce what we have in the pipeline. Some of you will be made ambassadors of tourism for sports to market Ghana globally and at the right time, we will unveil you”, Madam Catherine Afeku remarked.
Juventus midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah was honored with the CTB Inspirational Award for being a source of inspiration to young Ghanaian players in Italy while Bologna midfielder, Godfred Donsah left the event with the CTB Future Star Award.
Torino midfielder, Afriyie Acquah won the Humanitarian Award for his charitable works that has seen him make donations to some needy people in Ghana.
The CTB Legendary Award went to Juventus and Torino legends Stephen Appiah and Abedi Pele respectively. Abedi was awarded for being one of the first few Ghanaians who explored Italian football and paved the way for the current crop of players while Stephen Appiah was recognized for his outstanding leadership qualities during his days as captain of the Black Stars.