‘Ted Lasso’: Who Is Edwin Akufo? & Why Does He Hate Sam?
Ted Lasso is almost over, and the showrunners brought back some of the characters featured in the previous seasons to wrap up their story arcs. One of them is Edwin Akufo, a Ghanaian billionaire whom we first met in the second season of Ted Lasso. His character arc revolved around Sam Obisanya and his recruitment into Akufo’s new football club. In the recent episode titled “International Break,” we see Akufo returning to the show to create a new football league featuring the richest teams in Europe. This article will discuss who Edwin Akufo is and why he hates Sam so much.
Edwin Akufo is a billionaire from Ghana who inherited vast wealth after his dad died. Edwin decided to invest in the sport he’s most passionate about, football, and buy a Moroccan team featuring the best African players. He approaches Sam Obisanya to join his team, but Sam rejects him, feeling at home at AFC Richmond. This enrages the billionaire, and he promises he will make Sam’s life miserable. He returns to London and pitches the idea of the Akufo League, where only the wealthy, big football clubs will compete. When Rebecca puts him in his place and teaches him the meaning of football, Edwin snaps and gives up on the idea (for now) of the Super League.
Edwin Akufo accurately reflects billionaires in football nowadays, the rich owners who constantly want to make money and change the game of football. The Super League reference and criticism of the same by the Ted Lasso show is very welcomed now since we see money and rich people affecting the game more than ever – it seems that football is getting away from the fans with every passing moment. Akufo also really hates Sam, and we will explain the reasoning further in the article.
Who is Edwin Akufo in Ted Lasso show?
Each season of Ted Lasso presented us with new characters in the show. Most of them were there to propel supporting characters and their storylines. In season two of the show, we met Edwin Akufo, a billionaire from Ghana who absolutely loves football. He earned his money by inheriting wealth from his late father. In episode eleven, titled “Midnight Train to Royston,” we see him arrive in Richmond and offer Sam an unbelievable offer.
During season two, AFC Richmond was in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after being relegated from the Premier League in season one. The manager of the team, Ted Lasso, and the coaching staff deal with the new environment and pressure to return to the most elite tier of English football.
Of course, the journey is hard, and Richmond players and coaching staff need to work even harder to achieve their goals. Season two of the show also marks the mental health struggles of Ted Lasso and the players who struggle under pressure, including Sam Obisanya.
Sam is a really talented young footballer who obviously has the talent to achieve many great things in his footballing career, and the Richmond relegation put some question marks for his future, which is where Edwin Akufo arrives.
The billionaire arrives at Richmond’s training session in the helicopter and invites Sam on a stroll to discuss something really important. Akufo offers Sam to play for his newly acquired Moroccan football club, Raja Casablanca, where only the best African players will play.
Edwin even tells Sam he is the most talented player he has ever seen. Sam is flattered but decides to weigh in on the offer further. In true Ted Lasso fashion, Richmond beat Brentford F.C., which propels Sam to politely decline the billionaire’s offer and stay at AFC Richmond because he feels like the club is his home.
When Sam rejects Akufo’s offer, the billionaire gets extremely upset and vows to Sam that he will ruin his career. This brings us to the next section of the article.
Why does Edwin Akufo hate Sam?
Of course, the reason why Akufo hates Sam is because the young talented footballer declined his offer. The billionaire obviously always got what he wanted, and that particular moment made him snap and become revengeful toward Sam.
In the most recent episode of Ted Lasso in season three, titled “International Break,” we see some Richmond players making debuts for their national teams. However, the almost certain lock for the NT, Sam, isn’t picked up by Nigeria.
Sam is devastated, and throughout the whole episode, we see the young player being down on himself, doubting his effort and work at AFC Richmond. However, when Sam gets to his restaurant, he sees none other than Edwin Akufo sitting in Ola’s and appearing for the first time since season two.
From the very start of the conversation, we see Akufo being resentful towards Sam, who is calm and collected through the ordeal. It is revealed that Akufo is the reason why Sam wasn’t called up for the Nigerian national team – the billionaire paid off the Nigerian government to ensure the young footballer never gets called up for international play. This is a low blow from Akufo, who still resents Sam for rejecting his offer in the second season.
Moreover, in the same episode, the real reason why Edwin Akufo is back in London is that he wants to form an Akufo League, a super league where only the richest and biggest club in the world would play.
This is essentially the Ted Lasso version of the real-life Super League, pitched last year by the owners of the biggest Spanish, Italian, French, and England clubs. Of course, it meant more money for the owners and distanced the football even more from the fans. Akufo pitches the idea to Premier League club owners, including Rupert Mannion’s West Ham United and Rebecca Welton’s AFC Richmond.
After hearing that, the clubs and owners will profit even more from football and ensure that only the richest fans can access the games, exiling the working class and regular people from football. This enrages Rebecca, who puts Akufo and the rest of the money-hungry owners in their place, saying that his idea is awful and they, as owners have no right to take away the beautiful game from the people because football is people.
Akufo is enraged and storms off the meeting after he throws his Ghanian cuisine on the owners, marking the end of his outrageous idea. However, Leslie Higgins describes Akufo and other similar people perfectly – when Rebecca admits before the meeting that she doesn’t want to join the Akufo League, Higgins says this:
“Why? Because he’s an emotionally erratic billionaire with the temperament of one of those kids in Willy Wonka that gets murdered at the chocolate factory?“
Akufo is just that – bored. He is a man who doesn’t know what to do with money and pitches crazy ideas to earn even more. This commentary on the real state of European Football is very welcome from the Ted Lasso show, where money, sponsorships, and outrageously rich people want to influence the beautiful football game.
Hopefully, that will change, and we will see fewer of these insane money-grabbing ideas.