Agbegnigan Amouzou, known as Coach Fofo, is a much beloved pillar of the community in the Maryland suburbs outside Washington, D.C. Through his Elite Soccer Youth Development Academy for students aged 5-19, Coach Fofo has improved the lives of hundreds of young people in our area, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. In addition to training youth in soccer skills and coaching games, Coach Fofo makes sure that they learn about civic engagement and responsibility – and do their homework!
Coach Fofo has been living in the United States for almost 20 years. Throughout his time here, he has been a treasured member of his community, engaging in a variety of civic initiatives. He has partnered with government agencies, companies, and countless volunteers to make sure the youth he trains are embraced within a loving and broad community.
Coach Fofo is also a dedicated father to his two sons, one born in the U.S. and the other born in France and a loving partner to his companion, who was granted asylum in the U.S. after fleeing violence in her native Togo.
In early 2019, ICE sought to deport Coach Fofo back to Togo. In recognition of his enormous contributions to his local community, business owners, religious leaders, parents, young people, and legislators all rallied to support Coach Fofo and fight his deportation order. Community members organized an online petition, a soccer match to raise funds, and more than 40 religious, activists, and community members rallied outside ICE’s Baltimore Office when he went to his appointment in March. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council signed letters to federal immigration officials asking that he not be deported.
As a result of all this support, Coach Fofo was given six more months in the United States at his April check in with ICE. As one parent, quoted in The Nation, said “Coach Fofo is part of the fabric of our community. ICE seems to exist to tear at that fabric and tear our community apart. It’s evil, and if we can’t stand up for this one amazing individual, then there really is no hope for any of us.”