Two Ghanaian sports journalists have said Asamoah Gyan’s reaction to the decision not to make him captain of the Black Stars during the upcoming Afcon has been appalling.
Michael Oti Adjei and Jerome Okyere both believe the Black Star skipper’s conduct – evident in a lengthy press release on Monday – is a reflection of the deep-seated sense of entitlement that threatens to plunge Ghana football into the abyss of relevance.
“The [press] statement didn’t put him in the best light…he came across as selfish, he came across as someone who didn’t understand team ethics,” said Michael Oti Adjei on PM Express.
Jerome, former Editor of Kotoko Express put also said on the current affairs show that “to be blunt, Gyan overreacted. For me, it was more of an angry reaction to what the coach did…And given the fact that the coach did not wake up out of the blue to just do what he did, gives me the impression that Gyan didn’t act well.”
Jerome revealed that it was an open secret that Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah, had discussed his decision to make another player the captain with Gyan.
Asamoah Gyan grabbed headlines on Monday when he announced in an emotion-dripping statement that he will not be part of Ghana’s campaign to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Many sports pundits have described the statement as bitter tirade over the coach’s decision.
Many say Gyan's decision to quit the Black Stars because he will not wear the captain armband was petty.
Others also say the tone and skew of the two-page lengthy statement were telling of the Black Stars' trophy dearth.
“I cannot pretend to be happy. I would rather hurt myself emotionally and psychologically, over the years I have served with an open heart and have given my all to the best of my ability and in my quest to serving our great nation Ghana,” the statement said in part.
A meeting between President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Kwesi Appiah over the matter and a subsequent phone conversation between the President and Asamoah Gyan have been interpreted as an intervention to get Gyan to rescind his decision.
Some news portals report that the President urged Asamoah Gyan to rescind his decision to retire and make himself available for selection by the coach.
Meanwhile, Joy Sports reports that the President has backed the decision by the coach to hand over the captaincy of the senior national football team to a different player other than Gyan.
Photo: Asamoah Gyan
Commenting on the turn of events, Michael Oti, Group Head of Sports at TV3, said the intervention by the President was not necessary.
“I personally think the meeting was an indulgence of Gyan; elevating him on a pedestal that he may deserve on the back of his captaincy but one that does not do a lot of good,” he said.
Jerome, however, took a more historical look at the whole issue, noting that the President’s action was not surprising.
According to him, this is how things have been done in Ghana football.
“A lot of the times issues come and you expect that people put in charge of those issues…will take direct control of it, stamp their authority on the matters and put them where they are. It has always been the case that the issues go overboard and it comes out as something they cannot handle so that a higher figure must come in and that,” he said.
He said until football administration in Ghana gets to the point where whoever has been tasked to courageously assert their authority is allowed to do their work, the President will always intervene.
Meanwhile, Asamoah Gyan is expected to announce his decision on the Black Stars later Wednesday.
Asamoah Gyan remains Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals since his debut in 2003.
The Kayserispor ace is also Africa’s leading top scorer at the World Cup with six goals in three tournaments.
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