Asamoah Gyan's customised captain's armband saga

By Michael Abayateye
Gyan with his customised armband

The Black Stars of Ghana thrashed Ethiopia 5-0 to begin the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on a bright note but the victory was not without controversy.

Focus has immediately shifted from the outstanding piece of football displayed by the Kwasi Appiah-led team and the exploits of the debutants,including Rapheal Dwamena who scored a brace, Ebenezer Ofori's thunderous strike, Thomas Agyepong's deft touches and Lumor Agbenyenu's strength on the ball, to Asamoah Gyan's failure to hand over 'his' captain's armband to Andre Ayew when he was substituted.

Reason: The armband was customized by Gyan and he could not have handed over the band which had his face on it, to Ayew.

Information gathered by indicates that, Gyan's armband was customized by Puma with his name and head to mark his 50th goal.

Meaning, the entire team was aware of the customized band and Dede Ayew was supposed to get a different armband when Gyan was substituted.

Eventually Ayew got a different armband and the game continued leaving spectators to ponder about the consequencies of what ensued between the captain and his deputy.

FIFA's Equipment Regulations on armband, states:

"20.1 A captains armband exclusively provided by FIFA must be used for all Matches of Final Competitions. FIFA may provide two captain's armbands in contrasting Colours."

"20.2 For any Matches of Preliminary Competition and any Preliminary Olympic Matches the captain's armband shall be of one dominant Colour, or exceptionally composed of the Colours of the National Flag clearly distinguishable from the Colour used on the sleeves of the shirt of the Player."

"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 for the word "captain" or an abbreviation or translation thereof."

Clearly, there seem to be a feud between the two players covered in the disguise of a customized armband.

The issue of Dede Ayew 'rushing' to become a captain while Gyan is still in action could have a huge negative effect on the team when not managed.

It would be vital for stakeholders especially the coach and the Ghana Football Association, not to turn deaf ears over the issue but rather address it once and for all.

Unfortunately, these issue came up at a point, the Black Stars entertained supporters with some enterprising football and earning their love once again.

It would be sad to dilute the efforts of the players and coaches to ensure tonight's victory, into a flimsy argument over captain's band.

All Ghanaians need is results and not really concerned about who wears the captains band.

The Black Stars must be commended for their victory tonight as Ghanaians are looking forward to a better performance in subsequent games.