The captain of Ghana’s national team, the Black Stars, has announced his retirement from international football.
In a statement posted to his official Twitter page, Asamoah Gyan said “I wish to recuse myself from the [AFCON] 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.”
The 33-year-old who was in line to lead the Black Stars at the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament which is set to begin in July in what many had speculated would be his last major competition with the squad.
Sources close to the team had told citisportsonline.com that head coach, Kwesi Appiah was set to name his 30-man provisional team for the tournament on Tuesday, with Gyan seen as a nailed on call-up, particularly in light of his recent form.
The striker has scored three goals in his last two games for Kayserispor, his current side in Turkey.
However, in the statement, the player also recused himself from the consideration for selection ahead of the tournament suggesting that although he would be in the squad for the AFCON, he would have been stripped of the captaincy.
“Upon consultations 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.”
Gyan made his international debut in November 2003 as a 17-year-old and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the senior team, scoring 51 goals.
Gyan expressed his frustration with this apparently limited role he was to play with the squad at the AFCON, stating that captains of the national team before him had never had to relinquish the captaincy despite being in the squad.