GFA to punish three key players
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has expressed its willingness to punish Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan for refusing to travel with the Black Stars for Wednesday’s friendly against Angola.
The GFA has launched an investigation into the reasons why the three key players of the Black Stars refused to travel with the squad to Luanda. The squad boarded the flight to Luanda on Monday night but the three players were unavailable and they could not be reached by phone.
The three players travelled to their European bases on Tuesday night which has provoked fury in the country. The GFA has expressed its discontent over the no show and says the necessary action will be taken after a probe into the issue.
“In accordance with prescribed FIFA regulations for the release of players for national team matches the FA wrote and secured the release of 20 players to honour the international friendly against Angola on the 18th November, 2009,” the GFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately three players namely Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan did not travel with the team to Angola on Monday night for the Angola friendly.
“The players stayed out without the permission of the Head Coach, Mr. Milovan Rajevac. “The FA views this act with great concern and will investigate the matter further to inform its next course of action.”
This is the first act of gross indiscipline exhibited by players of the national team since this current Black Stars took shape. The current state of affairs is causing immense anxiety in the country as the trio are seen to have disobeyed the national team handlers and taken the law into their own hands.
Even though the trio are key players for the Black Stars, their intentional absence is a serious test case for the Ghana Football Association. With the African Cup of Nations and World Cup approaching these issues of indiscipline could wreck the chances of the Black Stars at the tournament.
Similar issues of indiscipline among some Black Stars players went unchecked in the 1990s and this resulted in their patchy form then even though it had key players like Abedi Pele and Anthony Yeboah.
Only two players, captain Stephen Appiah and Samuel Inkoom, were excused from the friendly match after seeking permission from the authorities to sort out problems with their European clubs.
Appiah must sort out his Italian work permit in the country embassy in Accra while Inkoom has a similar issue to deal with with his Swiss club FC Basel. Rajeavc, a known disciplinarian, is expected to take action over the intentional absence of the three players as Muntari and Gyan are likely to suffer most when the axe falls.
Both players face tough competition for their position with Kwadwo Asamoah eyeing Muntari spot while Prince Tagoe and Dominic Adiyiah are vying for Gyan’s place.
Essien is likely to suffer in terms of his image as he has long been viewed as a committed player to the national cause.