Ghana national team captain Asamoah Gyan on Monday announced his retirement from international football just weeks before the 2019 Africa Nations Cup (AFCON).
Apparently, Gyan, who made his international debut at 17 in 2003 against Somalia, is uncomfortable with a decision by the technical team to give the team’s captaincy to another player for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
“As an active footballer yet to retire, I have been in the team since 2003 and have played with some members of the technical team who were my seniors,” he said in a statement released on Monday, May 20.
“Through such periods, there were no times substantive captains were part of a team in a tournament and had to surrender their captaincy to other players and served different capacities.”
He mentioned former captains Stephen Appiah and Richard Kingson as players in good positions to understand his concerns.
Gyan, African leading scorer in the World Cup with six goals, says he has consulted his family and team and he wants to, first of all, recuse himself from June/July Cup of Nations.
“Upon consultation with my family and 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 33-year-old player said in a statement.
“I also wish to retire from the national team permanently,” added the Kayserispor striker.
Gyan, popularly known as Baby Jet, expressed gratitude to past and present presidents of Ghana for the support offered him in his international playing career.
I would continue to serve the country Ghana in other endeavours as a businessman through various investments.”
Gyan is Ghana’s all-time goal scorer in the national team with 51 goals in his 106 appearances.
He has also featured in three World Cups — 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Ghana’s Black Stars are in Group F with Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.