Ghana’s record top scorer Asamoah Gyan has retired from international football after a captaincy row with teammate Andre Ayew.
The Ghanaian seemed bitter about Andre Ayew’s selection as captain as he expressed his heart through a press statement he shared on his Twitter page on Monday. In the statement, he hinted that he was aware coach Kwesi Appiah had picked him for the competition but not as the skipper, prompting his retirement.
“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,” the statement read in part.
Gyan is widely known for his penalty miss during the 2010 World Cup at South Africa when the entire continent was hoping he would score. Gyan was graced with the opportunity to get Ghana into the World Cup semi-finals after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez handled the ball on the line. The Ghanaian striker astonishingly blasted it over the bar.
The 33-year-old, who is also the current leading African scorer at the FIFA World Cup, chose to announce his retirement the same day Coach Kwesi Appiah was supposed to announce his provisional squad for the competition.
The coach announced later on Monday that the squad naming had been postponed until further notice. According to Ghana’s Mynewsgh, Appiah will not name his squad either on Tuesday or Wednesday. Perhaps the coach is taking time to select Gyan’s replacement or even convincing him to feature for the team one last time.
Gyan seemed to be unhappy after the coach dropped him as captain. Although, Gyan being stripped of the armband is not a surprise as he has not featured for the black stars since September 2017. The striker has been struggling with injuries and has also battled to get play time with his Turkish side Kayserispor.
Since he started playing for the national team in 2003, the 33-year-old netted 51 goals in 106 international appearances, which includes scoring at six consecutive Nations Cup finals, as well as three World Cups between 2006 and 2014.