Akufo-Addo urges Gyan to rescind Black Stars retirement decision
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Asamoah Gyan to consider rescinding his decision to retire from the senior national football team, the Black Stars.
In a telephone conversation with Asamoah Gyan on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo reportedly urged him to rescind the decision to retire and make himself available for selection by Coach Kwasi Appiah.
Gyan on Monday May 20th announced the decision to recuse himself from the upcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament and also retire from the national team over fears he may lose the captaincy.
The 33-year-old forward, in a statement, barely 24 hours to the release of Ghana’s provisional squad by head coach Kwasi Appiah, said that he would not be a member of Ghana’s team for the 2019 AFCON, which takes place in Egypt between June 21 and July 19.
The development, according to what Graphic Online has gathered followed a communication by Coach Appiah to Gyan that he wants to make him the general captain of the team.
Inside sources have revealed to Graphic Online that the coach had opted to make Andre Dede Ayew the new captain to lead Ghana to the AFCON 2019 tournament in Egypt next month.
It, therefore, emerged on Tuesday that a keen President Akufo-Addo who has been following the activities of the senior national team and has consistently been meeting with the management team to be abreast with their activities, the last meeting of which occurred about two weeks ago received the latest news with a considerable disquiet.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore reportedly requested an immediate meeting with Coach Kwasi Appiah and the management committee of the Black Stars for a briefing on the new development.
After the meeting, President Akufo-Addo is said to have indicated his respect for the coach’s decision after the coach explained, according to Graphic Online’sinside sources.
Akufo-Addo respects Coach Appiah’s decision
Following that, President Akufo-Addo engaged Asamoah Gyan in a telephone conversation and urged him to rescind his decision and make himself available for selection by the coach.
Confirming that the meeting indeed took place on Tuesday in a post on Facebook, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin explained that present at the meeting was the Minister for Youth and Sports, the President of the GFA Normalisation Committee, and the Chair of the Management Committee of the Senior National Football Team, the Black Stars.
“The meeting, a continuation of the regular meetings the President holds with them, discussed, amongst others, the preparations being made towards AFCON 2019, and how to end Ghana’s AFCON trophy drought,” Mr Arhin wrote on Facebook.
“President Akufo-Addo, subsequently, also spoke on the telephone with Asamoah Gyan, and informed him of the considerable national disquiet over his decision to retire from the Black Stars,” he added.
He added that the President urged him, in the national interest, to rescind his decision to retire from the Black Stars, and make himself available for selection by Coach Kwasi Appiah.
Why Gyan wants to retire
Gyan, who has been a key member of the national team since making his international debut in 2003, has suggested that he had a strong conviction that there were attempts being made for him to surrender his captaincy and serve in another role, a development, he said, had left him unhappy.
“Upon consultation with my family and team, and as an active footballer and captain of the national team, if the decision of the coach is to give captaincy of the tournament to another player while I am named in the team for the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament,” said Gyan who plies his trade with Turkish topflight side, Kayserispor.
“I also wish to retire from the national team permanently; not pretending my presence would not fuel the purported undermining the country has seen under my captaincy”.
Some have questioned Asamoah Gyan’s move and said there was no need for him to feel peeved if indeed the development was true since around 2010, a similar development saw John Mensah losing the captain’s band to Asamoah Gyan.
Others have also said in 1992 when Coach Kwasi Appiah lost the captain’s band to Abedi Pele under similar circumstances, he was also personally not happy and should not be seen to repeating the precedent.