Black Stars captaincy change didn’t affect AFCON campaign – Afriyie Acquah
Black Stars midfielder, Afriyie Acquah, has said allegations and assertions which seem to suggest that Ghana’s failed bid at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations was because of the now-infamous captaincy brouhaha are wide off the mark.
According to the Italy based midfielder, a combination of factors, including ill-luck led to the disastrous campaign and not because there was a change of captaincy prior the start of the competition.
Acquah was unequivocal in backing his coach and suggested that coach Kwesi Appiah acted within his powers by stripping Asamoah Gyan of the team captaincy.
Coach Kwesi Appiah decision to hand the captaincy to Andre Ayew instead of Gyan who had been captain since 2012 generated a national debate about the timing and rational.
The decision did not go down well with Gyan who announced his retirement from the Black Stars but within 24-hours rescinded the decision after an intervention by President Akufo-Addo.
In the aftermath of the disastrous AFCON campaign, it emerged that the issue reared its head in the team’s camp as some players who owe allegiance to the dethroned captain did not recognize the authority of his successor.
But speaking on Zylofon TV, Afriyie Acquah who featured in all four matches at the tournament shot down those reports, describing them as rumours from people who were not close to the team.
“We were cool with the captaincy change because the coach announced it to us so we all gave him our support. Even at club side they change captains so you the player you should take it as normal and leave the talking to the public. Captaincy is just an armband”.
“The change did not cause anything in camp. People who are not close to us (the players) assumed that we were fighting but it is not true. We were united in camp. We are a team and a family so there were no factions”, he said.
Afriyie Acquah also said that the players did their possible best to win the tournament but they were unfortunate.
He appealed to Ghanaians to have patience and look forward the next edition of the tournament.
“We did our best and wanted to win the cup but we all know in football you either win, lose or draw. We did our best but we were unfortunate so we will just give thanks to God. It’s not too late; we are young so we Ghanaians should give us another two years to win the tournament.”
Ghana’s wait for another AFCON trophy will now stretch to 39 years by the time the next edition of the tournament is held in 2021.