Soccer News of Friday, 27 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Ghana captain, Asamoah Gyan, says he will reassess his decision not to take penalty kicks for the national football team despite persistent calls on him to do so.
Following the Stars’ loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea on penalties, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has led the call on the Al Ain striker to come out of his self-imposed embargo on penalties to help the national team.
Gyan, who took that painful decision three years ago in the wake of two crucial misses for Ghana, was tactically substituted just minutes before the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire game was settled by spot kick in a bid to avoid facing his worst fears.
George Afriyie, the Chairman of the Black Stars management committee and a member of the FA’s Emergency Committee, told the Graphic Sports that the captain had been urged to reconsider his stance, given that he was the most experienced player, a good penalty taker as well as the team’s captain whom his other players looked up to for inspiration.
“I believe it’s time for Gyan to reconsider his stance. With his contribution to the national team, he has nothing else to prove, but he is a senior player and has become more experienced than he was when he took the decision not to take penalty kicks.
We understand the emotions attached to his decision, but we have also urged him to have a rethink,” Mr Afriyie said.
In reaction, Gyan, who was criticised for missing crucial penalty kicks against Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup and against Zambia in the semi-final of the 2012 Nations Cup, said he was still weighing up the options as he believed he needed to be in the “right psychological frame of mind” to return to nerve-wracking spot kick action.
“There is no problem with me taking penalty kicks. However, it must be acknowledged also that the decision was not taken in a vacuum. With what I have experienced in the past, I don’t need to rush back. As a striker and captain of the team, I will do all I can, to help the team succeed so, whatever decision I take with regards to this particular issue will be in the interest of the national team and not a personal one,” Gyan told the Graphic Sports.