CAF President Issa Hayatou says the Ghana Football Association (GFA) must try to convince striker Asamoah Gyan to return to the international game.
The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) added that the presence of the UAE-based attacker has helped to greatly improve the image of the African game.
Hayatou made the call in the wake of the decision by Gyan to take a break from international football.
Gyan's decision came after coming being criticized for missing a crucial semi-final penalty against eventual winners Zambia of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Caf President was speaking to the Executive Committee of the governing body, which includes Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi and urged football chiefs in Ghana to work towards the striker’s return to the Black Stars.
“I urge the Ghana Football Association and the entire nation to ensure that Asamoah Gyan returns to the national team,” Hayatou said during the executive committee meeting.
“Gyan is a great player and his contribution to the game in the last few years has lifted the African game.
“He’s a star that brings something to his team and enables Ghana and the continent to dream.
“Gyan is an exceptional player for Ghana and Africa and we need players of his quality to continue playing the game. All must be done to see him return soon.”
The 26-year-old striker has come under heavy attack for his crucial penalty miss and for his decision to take a break from international competition.
For some, he is regarded as a hero but others have tagged him a villain as they recounted his penalty miss in the quarter-final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where Ghana lost to Uruguay.
Hayatou also found words for Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, who missed from the spot in the finals of the Nations Cup against Zambia.
“It’s a pity that he [Gyan] has missed two very important penalties for his country in big matches. Players like himself and [Didier] Drogba have missed from the spot but those misses do not take away their huge contributions to the game.
“They are very talented players who can define the game and need the backing of all so that they can always be at their best.”
The GFA is in talks with Gyan trying to convince him to make a quick return to the Black Stars.
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