Ghana national team captain, Asamoah Gyan on Wednesday reversed his decision to retire from international football, weeks ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The striker had said on Monday he was quitting the national team after he was angered by coach Kwasi Appiah’s plan to strip him of the captaincy for next month’s finals in Egypt.
But Gyan then rescinded his decision to retire from the national team after a lengthy chat with President Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday.
Gyan in a statement said he has accepted the president’s request, and was ready for the tournament.
“A presidential request is one that cannot be disregarded. I have taken the request of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in good faith, and will make myself available for selection by coach Kwasi Appiah,” the 33-year-old forward said in a statement.
“My desire to help Ghana end the over three-decade-long wait to annex the AFCON trophy still burns strong, and I remain committed to serving this great nation and the people of Ghana,” he added.
Ghana media reports that while Gyan will be the General Captain, Andre Ayew will be named as the substantive captain for the tournament.
Eugene Arhin who is a Director of Communication at the Presidency confirmed the telephone interview between Gyan and the President in a post on Facebook.
He also confirmed the fact that it was the President who has impressed on the player to return to the team for the sake of unity and peace.
In a post of Facebook, Eugene Arhin said
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, this afternoon, held a meeting with the Minister for Youth and Sports, the President of the GFA Normalisation Committee, and the Chair of the Management Committee of the Senior National Football Team, the Black Stars.
The meeting, a continuation of the regular meetings the President holds with them, discussed, amongst others, the preparations being made towards AFCON 2019, and how to end Ghana’s AFCON trophy drought.
President Akufo-Addo, subsequently, also spoke on the telephone with Asamoah Gyan, and informed him of the considerable national disquiet over his decision to retire from the Black Stars.
The President urged him, in the national interest, to rescind his decision to retire from the Black Stars, and make himself available for selection by Coach Kwasi Appiah”.
The Black Stars are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
The tournament, expanded to 24 teams for the first time, kicks off on June 21, and the Black Stars will be looking to end a 37-year drought by claiming the biggest prize in African football.