Former Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan, is still keen on playing for the national team despite being at the twilight of his career and the scrapping of his role as the General Captain of the Black Stars.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) in a statement last Sunday announced the scrapping of Gyan’s General Captain role in a shake-up in the team’s leadership.
The decision, which cost Gyan the role he controversially accepted in May 2019, also retained Swansea forward, Andre Ayew, as captain and made Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey, and Maritzburg goalie, Richard Ofori, the first vice-captain and second vice-captain respectively.
However, Gyan’s business manager and long-term confidant, Samuel Anim Addo, in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday said the player had already come to terms with the fact that he was no more the captain of the team.
Mr Addo, who doubles as an Executive Council member of the GFA, also disclosed that the leadership of the management committee of the Black Stars met the former Sunderland forward before the new appointments were announced.
“There are no issues. The leadership of the Management Committee of the Black Stars have already met with Gyan and the meeting was very successful,” Mr Anim Addo told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview.
“Asamoah Gyan and his camp have never been interested in being General Captain because it doesn’t exist anywhere, except Ghana. It will be recalled that when he was stripped of the captain’s band by Coach Kwasi Appiah, he decided not to play for the national team again but he was prevailed upon by the President of Ghana and other elders to continue playing for the team,” he recounted.
He said Gyan would still remain a leader and role model for his teammates because of his pedigree and achievements in world football.
“The most important thing is that he is still ready to serve his country in any capacity. Gyan’s influence in the national team cannot be discounted just because he is not wearing the armband.
“It is in your best interest to involve him because of his rich experience and what he contributes to the team,” Mr Addo explained.
According to him, the player who was now a free agent after leaving Indian Super League side, North East United, in January this year, had received many offers and would soon decide on his next destination in club football.
Captaincy merry-go-round Meanwhile, stopping short of advising Gyan to retire, Ghana legend, Rev Osei Kofi, in a separate interview said the controversy surrounding the Stars’ captaincy would have a negative effect on the performance of the former Stade Rennes striker.
“Asamoah Gyan is not a small boy; look at what he has contributed physically and in monetary terms to the team over the years. If you want to retire a player, don’t use these little frustrations to get rid of him.
“Since 1982 when we last won the AFCON, we have always managed to use the issue of captaincy to distract the team from the bigger goals. Why can’t the management of the team manage a smooth transition between captains?” Rev Osei Kofi quizzed.
Gyan’s captaincy journey
After making his debut in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Somalia in 2003, Gyan has gone on to become Ghana’s most-capped player and all-time top scorer, with 109 appearances and 51 goals.
He was first named captain of the team in 2013 while the previous captain, John Mensah, was given the role of general captain.
However, before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, he announced that he had quit the team after then coach, Kwasi Appiah, stripped him of the armband and made him general captain.
A peeved Gyan later rescinded his decision and joined the Black Stars for the Egypt tournament after a conversation with President Akufo-Addo.