Watch Live Matches

Ghana coach confirms Essien pleads to be excused from 2013 AFCON

Published on: 05 November 2012

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has confirmed that Michael Essien has asked to be excused from the 2013 Nations Cup campaign but says the midfielder is still committed to playing for the Black Stars.

Essien, on loan at Real Madrid from Chelsea, says his priority is to secure his long-term club future.

Essien has told Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah he needs more time to settle in fully at Madrid before returning to international football.

"It is a situation I understand", Appiah told BBC Sport.

"Essien has made it clear to me he is still committed to playing for Ghana but he wants to sort out his club issues after moving from Chelsea to Real Madrid on loan. He is playing regularly now for Madrid and needs time to establish himself."

Appiah says Essien has not given a definite date for his return but he has indicated he will be available to play in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, which resume for the Black Stars in March next year with a game at home against Sudan.

The 29-year-old's presence in the Real Madrid team in recent weeks - he scored his first goal for the club at the weekend - has led to increased calls for his return to international football.

But Appiah says given the player's history with injuries in recent years, Ghanaian football fans must respect Essien's wishes - even if that means he will not be part of the squad for next year's tournament in South Africa.

"He has suffered two major injuries playing for Ghana but at no point has he said he does not want to play again", Appiah added.

"In moments like this it is important that we respect what the players want and help them through their difficult times."

Essien has been highest profile Ghanaian footballer in recent years and was a dominant member of the Black Stars team that reached the country's first World Cup in 2006 and the semi-finals of the Nations Cup two years later on home soil.

But he has not played for the Black Stars since a 45-minute appearance at the 2010 Nations Cup against Ivory Coast.

The Black Stars went on to reach the finals of the Nations Cup and the quarter-finals of the World Cup in his absence but Appiah believes Essien still has a part to play for the team.

"Essien is not finished as a player and I still feel he has a lot to offer. At the right time he will be back to help us," Appiah said.

Ghana will kick off their 2013 Nations Cup campaign with a match against Democratic Republic of Congo on 20 February. The will also face Mail and Niger in Group B.

Source: BBC


This article has 8 comment(s), give your comment
  • Kwadwo Daniel says:
    November 06, 2012 08:15 am
    Ghanaians are highly civilised, educative and respected worldwide. We should be mindful of comment on social networks. We should be very constuctive in criticising. Please, allow Essien to concerntrate and seccure his chance in Madril please. Also, i plead with Ghanaian here to go into the polls with one love, unity and prayers. Vote wisely. Long live Ghana, long live our leaders.
  • Randy says:
    November 06, 2012 05:16 am
    Ghanasoccernet trolls, stfu, share your opinion and stop behaving as if u are better than the coach, and stop forcing ideas and players on us, hate the caps writers. this time im talking to ju and self made
  • selfmade says:
    November 06, 2012 02:20 am
    Ghanaman, do u know who u just insulted??? Boy don't let me start with u again because i destroyed u the last time and people pleaded with me to stop and i did!!! This is selfmade dude and i warn u to retract that your stupid statement!!! Kwasea kurasenni aboa biba,kwasea your stupid mama who ha stinking pussy and was divorced by your small impotent papa is a whore!!! Kwasea ghanaman,living in some ghetto area and walking John john without pity has the fucking vim to diss selfmade!!! Kwasea after shooting your woduro,better go and hid in your compound house and dose off your stupidity before you come here with your small apeteshie mind motherfucker!!!! Kwasea fucking son of a pervert!!!! Viva the revolutioncioooooooooo!!!!!!
  • Fiifa 1 says:
    November 06, 2012 01:23 am
    Come one Ghanaman, please respect your fellow forumite, when they share an opinion of a topic here, we all don't have the same ideas and therefore know that we will all not share the same thought on one topic. Though personal i don't agree with selfmade, but there is no need for insult in this site.
  • nana says:
    November 05, 2012 07:32 pm
    ju shut please, essien is one of the most committed members of the BS, only people with no common sense will not understand why he has pleaded to miss this AFCON, come on mate wise up HE IS ON LOAN HE NEEDS TO EITHER SECURE A PERMENANT DEAL THERE OR IMPRESS SO MUCH THAT ANOTHER BIG CLUB WILL BUY HIM, PLUS HE OWES REAL WHO SAVED HIM SO LEAVING FOR AFCON WOULD BE A STAB IN THE HEART....
  • Ghanaman says:
    November 05, 2012 07:22 pm
    IDIOT!!!! YOur mother is a whore! We WILL win the African cup~!!
  • selfmade says:
    November 05, 2012 06:00 pm
    That's the right decision boy... concentrate on madrid now because i know we can't win afcon with this team... there is no coordination within the team and the coach does not called the right players into the team.... i want to know why we keeping on ignoring quincy who is fit,experienced and injury-free whiles chasing players who are injury proned,non-committed?? Are we serious as a football nation??! Nana akwasi asare has being one player that has being performing day in and out for his team showing high level of consistency but he has being completed ignored by the handlers without any reasons!! We couldn't win the last afcon not because are players are not good but because we had a bunch of players who were injured proned and i wondered why a football nation like Ghana with a lot of abundant pool of talent can't have a decent team but always taking injured players to crucial tournaments!! How could we take John mensah to crucial tournaments when we know the guy is injured and one thing is certain,whenever when the guy is changed in our matches because of injury, the tempo of our game changed dramatically!! Good coaches are able to change players that's why essien started as a defender but ended as a defensive midfielder and i hope appiah will open his eyes and do the right thing because i can see total disaster in the impending afcon!!! A word to wise is in ..... viva the revolutioncookies!!!
  • Ju says:
    November 05, 2012 05:51 pm
    Who is committed. coach appiah stop covern him up cos if he was truly committed he wuld feature in de AFCON 2013 known dat we need this trophy badly