Fred Pappoe, a former vice president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) says the focus of the national discourse about the Black Stars must be on mending the cracked wall instead of justifying or condemning the manner in which the change of the leadership in the team was affected last week after Asamoah Gyan was stripped of the captain’s armband and handed to Andre Dede Ayew, then the deputy captain.
According to Mr Pappoe, the continuous discussion of the captaincy row rather than how the team can move on and progress would only heighten tension in camp and possibly affect the team’s psyche ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt next month.
Mr Pappoe, who was the Black Stars management committee chairman from 2005 to 2010, told the Daily Graphic that he was worried that the focus was shifting from the invited players to the change in leadership and it had the potential to worsen already delicate relationships within the team’s camp.
The football administrator under whose leadership the Black Stars qualified for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup, said the team psychologist would have to work very hard to get affected to put the captaincy issue behind the and to focus on the task ahead in Egypt.
“The players involved may publicly say they are fine with the changes, but that should be no delusion.
They are human beings and will have an emotional time and the team psychologist will have to really work hard to get the players to accept the situation.”
He said the fractured relationship that affected the national team following a similar captaincy row ahead of the 1992 AFCON must be a guide for the team psychologist and handlers on how to handle the issue.
Mr Pappoe said the principal characters must reach out to each other for the greater good of the team.
“Quickly mending the crack will depend on the individuals involved — Coach Kwasi Appiah who made the decision, Asamoah Gyan who has been affected and Dede Ayew who has taken over now.
Ultimately, Appiah takes responsibility for his decisions and actions.
He would have to reach out and show respect because, no matter what, the striker has a huge reputation in both the team and on the continent.
“Gyan, on his part must bury his personal pain or feeling and show through his actions that he is ready to help once he rescinded his decision to retire.
“Dede Ayew must reach out and not make it all about him being a captain.
It is important that they all recognise that there is a bigger interest which is for them to come together and deliver the AFCON title,” advised Mr Pappoe, a director of Accra Great Olympics.