Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Chairman Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe has backed Asamoah Gyan’s 2022 World Cup bid, claiming that the veteran striker can be useful in Qatar if in good form.
Gyan recently expressed his desire to be a part of Ghana’s World Cup squad despite being out of action for over a year.
However, the majority of Ghanaians believe Gyan is past his prime and should not be considered even if he returns to full fitness, as he has begun training.
However, the Hearts of Oak board member disagrees. “Asamoah Gyan has made an incredible mark in Ghana football. He is a good footballer and if he has the stamina, why not?” he said as quoted by Graphic Sports.
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe said those criticizing Gyan for his age should consider what Cameroon legend Roger Milla did for his country at the 1994 World Cup at the age of 38, as well as England’s Stanley Matthews in the 1950s.
“Roger Milla opted to play in the World Cup at an old age and did well. We can also talk about Stanley Matthews of England who was a key figure in the team and was known as the tactical magician.
“He was later invited to Ghana by Ken Harrison, who was then General Manager of Hearts of Oak in the 1950s,” he recalled.
The former GFA boss, however, stressed that though the decision to play at the World Cup rested on Black Stars coach Otto Addo if Gyan was mentally strong and physically fit, he saw no reason why he should be overlooked because Gyan still had something to offer the nation. “If he can train with the present team and the coach finds him fit, he should be invited because I strongly believe if he can match the tempo at training and the physique, he should be able to play.
“I think Gyan has the skill because when he is running with the ball, defenders fear to come near him. He has the skills and tactics but the strength to play is the problem. If he can work on that, he will be a fantastic addition to the World Cup,” he added.
No player has scored more goals for Ghana than Gyan, who has 51 in a record 109 appearances.