Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Asamoah Gyan retires from international football after manager's plan to strip him of Ghana captaincy

Gyan, his country's record goalscorer, was reportedly set to be replaced as captain at 2019 Africa Cup of Nations by manager Kwesi Appiah

Asamoah Gyan retired from international football on Monday after Ghana manager Kwesi Appiah planned to replace him as captain for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. AFP
Asamoah Gyan retired from international football on Monday after Ghana manager Kwesi Appiah planned to replace him as captain for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. AFP

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has announced his retirement from international football only weeks before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Al Ain striker, his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, said his decision was in response to manager Kwesi Appiah’s proposal to strip him of the captaincy at next month’s tournament in Egypt.

Gyan, who currently plays in Turkey with Kayserispor, had made a record 106 appearances for Ghana since his debut in 2003, scoring 51 goals.

In a lengthy statement released on Monday, the 33-year-old Gyan said: “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 of the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament.

“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.”

Gyan made his international debut against Somalia in 2003 and went on to represent his country at three World Cups, between 2006 and 2014. With six goals, he is Africa’s top scorer at the global finals.

Gyan has appeared in six Africa Cup of Nations, finishing runner-up in 2010 and 2015. This year's tournament begins in Egypt on June 21. Ghana have been drawn in Group F alongside Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

“I cannot pretend to be happy,” Gyan said in the statement. “I would rather hurt myself emotionally and psychologically. Over the years I served with an open heart and have given my all to the best of my ability in my quest to serving our great nation, Ghana. I have represented the proud colours of our country in 10 major tournaments from the Olympics, World Cups and in African Nations Cups with different coaches.”

“In all, I would say the last years have been the proudest moments in my career as a captain under the managerial leadership of coach Akwasi Appiah. I stood solidly behind my coach during the difficult times in Brazil and in some cases supported the endeavours of the team financially when the need arose to make sure his tenure and my captaincy would not suffer challenges and to ride with the assertion: ‘A Ghanaian coach can do it’.”

Gyan played in the UAE during two stints, primarily with Al Ain from 2011-2015. He scored 128 goals in 123 appearances for the Garden City club. He later spent a year on loan at Dubai rivals Al Ahli.

Updated: May 21, 2019 11:05 AM

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