On May 20, ahead of the announcement of the provisional list for the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, also known as CAN or AFCON, Kayserispor player and Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan announced his retirement from the team citing concern the captain’s armband was to be taken away from him.
That announcement which came via statement expressed Gyan’s unreadiness to be named in the squad if he is to deprived the opportunity of leading the team once again as captain. He expressed gratitude to all who played various roles in his career advancement from 2003 when he first gained entry to the team.
The decision stunned some but also led to him being berated by others who haven’t forgiven him for the world cup miss of 2010 in South African which would have sent the Black Stars to the semifinal stage of the competition and made it known it was good riddance to have him out of the team.
However a mere two days after the retirement call, Gyan had cause to issue another statement on May 22 to announce he was no longer recusing himself from the Black Stars following an interaction with President Akufo-Addo who had asked him to rescind his decision and make himself available to be named by head coach James Akwasi Appiah.
That call, Mr. Asamoah Gyan submitted informed his decision to make a U-turn to help the team overcome its over three decade’s drought of securing an AFCON cup.
Following Gyan who captained the national team in 2012 and led it in the 2013, 2015 and 2017 AFCON campaigns new resolve, he has been named in the list for the 2019 campaign in Egypt.
Other players who make up the 29-man squad provisional list include five strikers, eleven midfielders ten defenders and three goalkeepers.
Asamoah Gyan (Kayserispor, Turkey), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, England), Abdul Majeed Waris ( Nantes, France), Caleb Ekuban (Trabzonspor, Turkey) and Kwabena Owusu (Leganes, Spain).
Mubarak Wakaso (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Kwadwo Asamoah (Internazionle, Italy), Ebenezer Ofori (New York FC, USA), Afriyie Acquah (Empoli, Italy), Andre Ayew ( Fenerbache, Turkey), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Samuel Owusu (Cukaricki, Serbia), Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian, Scotland), Yaw Yeboah (Numancia, Spain), Abdul Fatawu (Asante Kotoko, Ghana).
John Boye (Metz, France), Andy Yiadom (Reading, England), Abdul Baba Rahman (Reims, France), Lumor Agbenyenu (Goztepe A.S, Turkey), Kassim Nuhu, (Hoffeinham, Germany,) Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew SC, USA), Joseph Aidoo (Genk, Belguim), Nuhu Musa (St Gallen, Switzerland), Joseph Attamah (Basaksehir, Turkey), and Mohammed Alhassan (Hearts of Oak, Ghana)
Richard Ofori (Maritzburg United, South Africa, Lawrence Ati- Zigi (Sochaux, Montbeliard, France), and Felix Annan (Asante Kotoko, Ghana).
The technical team spans Coach David Duncan (Scout), Coach Didi Mas- Ud Dramani (Scout), Samuel Kwame Ankomah (Masseur), Jermaine Lopia (Video & match analyst), Simon Copley (Physical trainer), Coach Sellas Tetteh (scout) and Patrick Ofori (Psychologist).
The team will depart Accra, on Saturday, June 1, for pre-tournament preparations in Dubai, ahead of the competition. Of the 29 players, the final 23 will be named to represent Ghana at the tournament.
The GFA Normalization Committee has lined up two high profile preparatory matches for the Black Stars against Namibia and South Africa.
The 2019 AFCON starts from June 21and concludes on July 19. 24 teams will be in action at 6 venues.
By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com