By James K. Attaglo Wilson|

Black Stars coach [James Kwesi Appiah] has already applied the pigeonhole principle way ahead of naming his provisional squad for the AFCON 2019, having replaced Asamoah Gyan with Andre Ayew as the captain of the senior national soccer team, thereby forcing the Kayserispor striker to retire from international football prematurely.

Asamoah Gyan was named the captain of the Black Stars on the road [October 2012] to the 2013 African Cup of Nations as Kwesi Appiah decided to elevate the then captain – John Mensah to General captain position:

“I have the pleasure of announcing that defender John Mensah has been elevated to the General Captain of the Black Stars,” Kwesi Appiah said in a statement having named Asamoah Gyan as the captain.

“Subsequently, I have appointed Asamoah Gyan as the permanent captain of the Black Stars.

“John Mensah remains an integral member of the Black Stars.

“I urge all players to give the necessary support to Asamoah Gyan to help Ghana achieve success in our future challenges,” he added.

Asamoah Gyan, who made his international debut for Ghana at age 17 on November 19, 2013, coming on to replace Isaac Boakye and scoring against Somalia made a total of 106 appearances for the Black Stars scoring 51 goals to become the country’s all-time best striker.

Andre Ayew, a member of Claud Leroy’s bronze winning AFCON 2008 team became a household name when he led Ghana to win its first ever gold medal at the World Youth Championship in 2009.

Andre, the second son of soccer maestro – Abedi Ayew Pele was a key member of the Black Stars at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa where he was shortlisted for the Young Best Player Award.

Meanwhile, the coache’s decision to replace Andre Ayew as the captain of the team did not go down well with Gyan as he has recused himself from Kwesi Appiah’s yet to be released squad.

Below is the unedited statement of Asamoah Gyan announcing his retirement;

My mother once told me, “you cannot tout a decision you did not take as betrayal, because you have to expect it” I still do not understand that statement anyway.

I cannot pretend to be happy, I would rather hurt myself emotionally and psychologically, over the years I have served with an open heart and have given my all to the best of my ability m 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’.

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. Through such periods, there were no times substantive captains were part of a team in a tournament, had to surrender their captaincy to other players, and served in different capacities. Mr. Richard Kingston and Stephen Appiah would be in the best position to understand this. My team, my family and fans have had reasons to whisper the trend of reportage and articles either to substantiate my exclusion or inclusion and again rumored roles I am to play at the AFCON in Egypt. In all, my answers have been, “respect the decision of the coach because the records under the year per game minutes and goals for all attackers are evidence to guide his decision”.

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 for 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.

I would continue to serve the country Ghana in other endeavours as a businessman through various investments. I want to thank the father of the nation, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, other former Presidents HE. John Kufour, H.E.J.J Rawlings, the late H.E Prof Ana Mills, H.E. John Mahama , my team mates from 2003 to date many of whom have become friends for life and all coaches have worked with. I would like to also thank journalists and all my fins who have supported and travelled the world with the team.

I wish the technical team and the players the best of luck.