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Sports News of Saturday, 21 August 2021


Asamoah Gyan and Salisu know what to do for Ghana call-up - Akonnor

Legendary striker Asamoah Gyan Legendary striker Asamoah Gyan

Ghana coach CK Akonnor is not closing the door on veteran striker Asamoah Gyan ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations finals next year.

Currently back home with Ghana Premier League side Legon Cities, Gyan is yet to receive a call-up since Akonnor assumed duty as Black Stars boss in January last year.

His last Ghana appearance came at Afcon 2019 where the four-time champions suffered a disappointing Round of 16 exit.

Asamoah Gyan has made it clear that he wants to. He’s an experienced man and knows what to do for him to get into the team,” Akonnor told pressmen at a conference on Friday.

“Once he does, he’s a Ghanaian and he’s done a marvellous job in the past. So, we’ve had a bit of discussion, he knows what to do. I’m also watching him closely. And not just him but any other person that has the chance to come.

“The other day, I invited [Frank] Acheampong who is always one of them, who is also out of the team for quite some time but unfortunately there were issues not permitting him to come. So, it is open for everybody.”

Gyan recently stated his desire to play for Ghana at the January 9 – February 6 tournament in Cameroon, emphasising he “he has not retired from football”.

The 35-year-old is Ghana’s leading scorer and all-time most capped player, having scored 51 times in 109 internationals.

Elsewhere at Friday’s presser, Akonnor provided further clarification on the continuous absence of Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu from the Black Stars’ set-up.

The 22-year-old has not received a call-up since turning down his first invitation in November 2019, then with Kwasi Appiah at the helm of affairs as head coach and Akonnor as assistant coach.

Upon the latter’s assumption of duty as head coach, Salisu was conspicuously missing from his first squad announced, amid explanation the defender was not yet ready for international football with Ghana.

He is yet to be called up under Akonnor’s reign.

“With Salisu, he made that comment [that he’ll inform us of his readiness to play for Ghana when the time comes]. I’m not the one who made it. He said when he’s ready,” the coach said on Friday.

“When a player makes a comment like that, then there should be an issue. Having said that, I’ve had the chance to communicate with one of his people, and the lesson is that we’ll have to wait until he’s ready. And that’s it.”

In April this year, Salisu revealed his pride at the possibility of playing for Ghana but stated the time was not yet right.