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Sports News of Sunday, 31 May 2020


Sammy Kuffour slams coach Kwasi Appiah for causing 2019 AFCON captaincy storm

Former Black Stars defender Samuel Osei Kuffour Former Black Stars defender Samuel Osei Kuffour

Former Black Stars defender and a member of the erstwhile Normalization Committee, Samuel Osei Kuffour has slammed former Black Stars coach Kwasi Appiah's decision to strip off Asamoah Gyan off the captaincy a month to the 2019 AFCON tournament.

On the eve of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2019, coach of the Black Stars Kwasi Appiah decided to strip Asamoah Gyan off the captains armband.

Instead, coach Kwasi Appiah handed the captainc armband to Gyan's deputy Andre Ayew creating a storm even before the tournament began.

Many have attributed the Black Star's poor showing at the tournament to the captaincy issue as it created a big wedge in the team.

“It was a bit disturbing for the NC. I could see that some people are hit somewhere. You could see that Asamoah [Gyan] was really hurt about the whole situation,” he said on Joy FM.

“It goes all the way to the President [Akufo-Addo] so NC had become limited. NC had nothing more to say about it. That is why the President came in and spoke to the two players with the coach and the [sports] ministry. In my view, it was a little bit hectic. Why couldn’t we wait until after the tournament then we make the change the captaincy?

“That period, Kwasi Appiah in my view should have probably had a second thought about the whole issue before making that decision [changing captains] and I think he [Asamoah Gyan] shouldn’t have said he wanted to retire. He should have calmed down. When you say those things, people may take it for granted.”

I would just leave it as it is [If I were Kwasi Appiah]. Asamoah Gyan is the captain. If he doesn’t play, Andre is the captain. Andre is like the second captain. He will wear the armband.”

That will seal the case. For bringing Andre in and Asamoah out with the atmosphere and all that. They can laugh but within their hearts, how well would [they collaborate]?”

Ghana were kicked out of the tournament at the round of 16 after being beaten on penalties by Tunisia and is till waiting to lift the elusive AFCON title since 1982.