Black Stars coach Otto Addo has lost the services of one of Ghana's most talented midfielders, Alfred Duncan, who has been forced to call time off his international career at the prime of his profession following after what he claimed to be a failed opportunity to write his own his with the national team.
Besides, the 29-year-old has accused the handlers of the national team of discrimination, disrespect and open bias which left him in the cold even when he was on top of his game and had availed his services to the country.
In a strongly-worded statement directed to the Ghana FA and former national coaches, Avram Grant, Kwasi Appiah and Charles Akonnor, the Fiorentina star lamented how he had been overlooked for international duties but was only considered as a second option even when he was the best performing Ghanaian player in the European leagues.
The player said he was surprised that after making 325 career appearances and scoring 19 goals, he could not believe he had only been invited just nine times for the national team and emphasised that he would not accept any invitations coming out of pressure from fans.
“When you’re never taken into consideration and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation, it becomes increasingly mentally taxing.
“I’ve been humiliated, discriminated against and left out in the cold for years even though I’ve always been available. I can’t go on feeling bad thinking about how I’ve been treated unfairly, knowing my conscience is clear.
“Until a few years ago there was no other Ghanaian player that had performed as well as me and had played so many games in such a prestigious league, yet I’ve never been considered for the national team," he said in the statement posted on Fiorentina's website last Saturday.
“The president of the Ghana FA, Kurt Okraku, Coach James Kwasi Appiah, Avram Grant, and Charles Akonnor know perfectly well where I’m coming from and how they treated me. I don’t deserve everything they put me through and for this reason I’m putting an end to a story that never really began.
“I want to have the peace and serenity that I deserve and to be able to continue playing for Fiorentina, the team that I value and who respect me for who I am and the passion I put into my daily work.”
Sounding livid, the midfielder stated that he did not make himself available for the national teams on a few occasions because he felt he was invited only because of pressure from the public and not out of any genuine decision to include him in the squad.
“I recently turned down some call-ups because I find it insulting that I’m called up just out of convenience; my feelings as a human being who makes sacrifices in his work simply aren’t taken into account."
Duncan, who represented Ghana at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, made his Black Stars debut on November 14, 2012 against Cape Verde. Since that debut he has played in four AFCON qualifiers, two World Cup qualifiers and two international friendlies.
Duncan said he had been traumatised by the continuous rejection but had since found inner peace for not thinking about international call-ups and had conditioned his mind to give of his best to his club side.
“I went through a torrid time because of the national team but I overcame everything by myself and went on my way. I found peace and happiness without thinking about being called up for the national team; I just focused on giving the best to those who support me, who consider me an important player and who value me.
“It’s incredible that a player like me who’s done so much and has been playing in Serie A for 11 years has only been capped nine times. It’s crazy and there’s no logical reason for it. I don’t accept being called up just because the football association has been pressured by fans and not because they recognise my value and what I can give to the national team.”