Black Stars Management Committee Chairman, George Afriyie is adamant that skipper Asamoah Gyan must be convinced to change his decision not to take spot kicks for the national team again in the aftermath of Ghana’s heartbreaking shootout loss to Ivory Coast in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Gyan was infamously substituted in the last minute of extra time as the dreaded penalty shootout loomed in the decider of AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea last week.
Ghana will of course go on to lose 8-9 in the shootout but Mr. Afriyie believes Gyan who used to be the Black Stars number one penalty taker till two heartbreaking misses at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and AFCON 2012, must rescind his decision because of his impeccable record hitherto.
‘I think we need to convince him to change his mind because with Gyan – 10 out of 9 times, he will score,’ Afriyie said on a Ghana Television programme on Sunday night.
‘It is a psychological trauma he went through and he decided not to take penalties again,” the Black Stars chief explained.
Gyan famously missed a penalty kick awarded the Black Stars in the last minute of extra time against Uruguay in the quarter finals of South Africa 2010, a kick that would have sent Ghana through as the first African team to make the semi finals of the FIFA World Cup.
Barely two years later, the striker failed to convert from 12 yards again in Ghana’s semi final defeat to Zambia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, prompted even Gyan himself to call time on his international career, albeit temporarily.
He will return in late 2012 as captain but following the death of his mother even before he ever wore national team armband, Gyan decided to heed to the request of his late mother – who was often maligned by angry Ghanaians in reaction to her son’s misses on national team duty – to quit taking penalties for Ghana.
‘When Kwesi Appiah took the job I think Asamoah [Gyan] was on a break and myself, the wife of the late Sly Tetteh went over to speak to his [Gyan] late mum [to convince him to return to the national team],’ Mr. Afriyie said. Follow @thedonplato
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