A former Black Stars player, Sam Johnson, has charged leadership of the team to focus on the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) rather than dwelling on issues of who captains the team.
According to him, inasmuch as the coach of the team, Kwesi Appiah, has the right to do whatever pleases him, it is important to take into consideration the timing of any action he takes.
His comments come on the back of a decision by Black Stars captain and top striker, Asamoah Gyan, to retire from international football following hints that the captaincy band was going to be taken from him ahead of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
Speaking on 3FM‘s morning show, Sunrise, on Tuesday, May 21, the former defender agreed with the striker’s decision, explaining that “we don’t want him to be there [AFCON] with pain in his heart. And it was going to bring the team down”.
Sam Johnson noted that it was psychologically unpleasant for the senior player to be among the “young people” on the bench while his captaincy has been taken away and given to a younger player;
“This kind of things has a psychological effect on the captain,” he explained.
However, Sam Johnson added that it was best for Asamoah Gyan to have retired after the tournament and not because his captaincy has been stripped off him.
Group Head of Sports at Media General Michael Oti Adjei, who was also on the show, noted that the captaincy issue was one of “those things” that come up often with regard to the Black Stars, and that it should not be dwelt on.
“I really think that given what Asamoah Gyan has done for this country and on the football pitch, people can choose to focus on the negative but I choose to focus on the positive.”
Asamoah Gyan has scored 51 goals in 105 appearances for the Black Stars. He has 6 goals in the World Cup, making him the highest-scoring African player.
He currently plays for Turkish side Kayserispor.
By Paul Selorm Agbo|3news.com|Ghana