Ghana captain Andre Ayew revealed that Cameroon 2021 will not be his last Africa Cup of Nations.
The Black Stars captain was sent off during Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat to Comoros – a result that saw the West Africans bow out of the competition without a win.
Addressing media after the game, the 32-year-old was asked if the 33rd edition of the competition would be his last owing to Ghana’s failed expedition, Ayew said: “No, it is definitely not.”
The Al Sadd forward made his Afcon debut in 2008 when Ghana hosted the continent and finished third after they defeated Cote d’Ivoire 4-2 inside Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
He has since featured in the competition on seven occasions to join compatriot Asamoah Gyan, Geremi Njitap (Cameroon), Boubacar Barry (Cote d’Ivoire), Siaka Tiene (Cote d’Ivoire), Kolo Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Essam El Hadary (Egypt), Hossam Hassan (Egypt), and Seidou Keita (Mali) as players with the second-most tournament appearances.
Only Rigobert Song (Cameroon) and Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan have featured in more Afcon editions (eight) since inception. And if Ayew’s statement is anything to go by, he could join Song and Hassan in that hallowed rank should he feature at the 2023 edition of the championship billed for Cote d’Ivoire.
Currently his country’s second most-capped player, he boasts two silver medals achieved at Angola 2010 and Equatorial Guinea 2015 for his efforts in the continental showpiece.
In a related development, he explained where Milovan Rajevac’s team got things wrong against the Afcon debutants while shifting his attention to the 2022 World Cup qualification play-off.
“We have played against them before and I think we let them score an early goal and after that until the red card, we had complete control of the game,” Ayew continued.
“We were in the final in 2010 and 2015 and in between them were semi-finals, so we have been on top for a very long time.
“We need to swallow the pill, stay calm to see what went wrong and prepare because the World Cup play-off is coming quickly and we have to be ready for that.
“It’s football, we will go back to the drawing board and I hope that these young players are able to come out of this because they have a future.”