Asamoah Gyan managed to take the shine off Ghana’s impressive opening in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers by donning a customized captain’s armband in the win over Ethiopia on Sunday.
Gyan spotted a colourful armband with graphics of his face and his famous 3 number well embossed on it as he led the Black Stars out for the first game of the qualifying series for the next AFCON.
It turns out his fashionable accessory goes contrary to FIFA regulations.
“Captain’s armbands shall remain free of, and shall not produce, in FIFA’s discretion, the visual effect of a Manufacturer’s identification, a sponsor, any Decorative Element or further elements, except the word ‘captain’ or an abbreviation or translation thereof,” says Article 20.3 of the Fifa regulations on Captain’s armband.
It is at this point unclear whether the Ghana FA can be taken on for this especially with proceedings of pre-match technical meeting concealed.
This move has however caused a bigger damage – as most of the post-game discussions unfortunately surround the armband fiasco rather than the powerful start of the Black Stars.
The fact that the love for the Black Stars appears to be back with a near capacity crowd at the Baba Yara Stadium despite some rains, Kwesi Appiah’s impressive selection with two debutants getting on the score sheet, the fact that the 5-0 win is resounding enough to make a clear statement of intent in the qualifiers, all these positives are entirely lost on the Ghanaian people.
The reported explanation for such ‘unapproved’ accessory is that it was designed for Gyan in anticipation of marking a 50th goal milestone for the Black Stars – an opening goal scored by Gyan which is being disputed for an own goal.
To make matters even worse, he walked off the pitch after being replaced in the second half by Abdul Majeed Waris with his customized armband.
His deputy, Andre Ayew had to go in search of the approved armband to get on with business on the pitch.
This move further heightens suspicion of power play between Gyan and Ayew – something both players have tried very hard to downplay to the outside world.
Whatever be the case, a great opportunity to have absolute positive reviews on the Black Stars’ sterling performance against Ethiopia has been lost making way for the sad commentary of a captain armband fiasco.