Ghana's preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) have been dealt a blow after Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan announced a shot decision to recuse himself from the tournament and also retire from the national team over fears he may be stripped of the captaincy.
The 33-year-old forward, in a statement yesterday, 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
Gyan, who has been a key member of the national team
"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 the player 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".
"Through such periods, there were no times substantive captains were part of a team and had to surrender their captaincy to other players and served in different capacities”, he indicated.
Gyan scored on his Black Stars debut as a 17-year-old in a World Cup qualifier against Somalia in Accra on November 19, 2003 (during the stint of German coach Ralf Zumdick). He retires as Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals in 106 appearances.
An extraordinary marksman, Gyan has played in six AFCON tourneys — 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 — and is Ghana’s all-time leading goal scorer at the Nations Cup with seven goals, a record he shares with deputy national captain, Andre Ayew, who is expected to be handed the captain’s armband.
He is on record as the man who scored Ghana’s first ever FIFA World Cup goal — a
His goal against Portugal at Estádio Nacional de Brasília on June 26,
Curiously, he goes on