Life has not been easy for the Ghanian national team after a frankly disastrous wrangle between former skipper Asamoah Gyan and the new captain Andre Ayew over the captaincy.
The gruesome dispute which saw Gyan shortly retire from national football has brought a lot of tension in the team and chances are that the team might not perform well in the AFCON tournament.
However, Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo intervened and brought calm back in the team. After the reconciliation talks, it was agreed that Andre Ayew will be the skipper and Asamoah Gyan was assigned as the general captain. In fact, Gyan went ahead and pledged his allegiance to the new captain Ayew.
And Ghanaians fear the repeat of 1992 Nations Cup imbroglio in Senegal where factionalism – as a result of captaincy – tore the team’s aspirations into tatters.
But it seems the tension is causing sleepless nights to Ghanaian president. Why?
It was for this saturnine backdrop that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s meeting with players and officials of the team on Friday was of monumental significance.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo emphasized on the need for players of the National football team, the Black stars to work as a team without which the team will fail at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
With teamwork, the President was confident that the Black Stars will be able to end Ghana’s 37-year Nation’s Cup drought, at this year’s tournament in Egypt.
“So teamwork is absolutely critical. You have to work for each other. Helping each other to win the trophy, that’s the teamwork we are looking at”, he said.
The President gave the admonishment when he met the players, management and technical body of the Black Stars ahead of their departure to the Emirates to commence their preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament that would be held from June 21 to July 19.
The President expressed confidence in the ability of the team and its technical handlers to surmount that challenge ahead and appealed to the playing body to make the needed sacrifices to ensure that Ghana was once again placed at the top levels of African football.
He reiterated on the need for commitment and unreserved respect for the authority of the coach, Kwasi Appiah and that of the captain of the team.
“You have to respect unreservedly, the authority of the Coach and the authority of the Captain…that is basic rules, non-negotiable rules, if you don’t do it, everybody will be going their separate ways. If you do that, you cement the teamwork and you will become a cohesive forceful force”
The President assured the players of the support of the nation.
“Thirty million Ghanaians are behind you and praying feverishly…that the 37 years wait since we last won the cup will come to an end this year.
Ghanaian president has shown how much he is concerned with the team’s success and perhaps this is the time the four-time champions need to work together for the sake of the nation’s interest and not theirs.