The Ghana Football Association (GFA) and Black Stars captain Andre Dede Ayew have issued public apologies for the team’s disappointing performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D’Ivoire.
The Black Stars, unable to progress to the round of 16, faced early elimination from Group B with only two points obtained from three games. A 1-2 defeat against Cape Verde and 2-2 draws with Mozambique and Egypt led to the team’s premature exit for the second consecutive edition.
The backlash from Ghanaians was swift, criticizing the team’s attitude and commitment, claiming a lack of drive and patriotism. Captain Andre Dede Ayew, in a video released last night, took responsibility for the team’s performance and expressed regret for not meeting the nation’s expectations.
“As the captain of the squad, I take full responsibility for what happened on the pitch. For the playing body, we should have done better,” Ayew stated in the apology released exactly a week after the team’s elimination.
The Ghana Football Association, in a statement on Tuesday, also extended its sincerest apologies to the nation, acknowledging the subpar campaign and falling short of expectations.
“We understand the disappointment and frustration that such results can bring to our passionate football-loving nation. We take full responsibility for the disappointment,” the GFA said.
Other players, including Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, Kudus Mohammed, Gideon Mensah, Joseph Painstil, Ernest Nuamah, Osman Bukari, and Majeed Ashimeru, have also issued apologies and reflections on the team’s performance.
“Words will certainly not be enough to erase the disillusionment. We are disappointed and very sorry for our Ghanaian people that we have failed at this stage of the competition, but if you only knew how grateful we are to have been supported by you, our Ghanaian fans,” Djiku wrote on Instagram.
“It is with a deepest regret that I am writing to you about our disappointing campaign in the 2023 AFCON. As you all know we went with the intention of bringing the Trophy home but it was rather unfortunate that we were eliminated from the tournament in the group stage,” Salisu expressed on Instagram.
“To the heart & soul of Ghana. In these difficult times where our only source of pride, joy & unity are our victories, we stand in solidarity with your disappointment…Your enduring support is our motivation to strive in commitment to making you proud in the future,” Kudus Mohammed shared on Instagram.
“With a very heavy heart & deep thoughts after our unfortunate exit from the ongoing AFCON…we will keep working very hard until we bring back the Smiles & Joy,” Mensah wrote on Instagram.
“Sincere apologies to the good people of Ghana. We are truly sorry for not meeting your expectations. Important lessons to take away from this unforgettable experience…Thank you for coming through with your support in our low moments,” Painstil expressed on Instagram.
“From Asafo with high hopes & impacting dreams to a tough #AFCON23 debut lesson. This is not what we dreamt as warriors/war Chiefs (Ghana) of Africa…Today we learn, and Tomorrow we grow,” Nuamah wrote on Instagram.
“It has taken me quite a number of days to gather the words to address you our dear fans… I would like to render an unqualified apology for the mistakes and assure you that we will come back better and stronger,” Bukari wrote on social media.
“Having the privilege to represent my country of birth(Ghana)has always been a childhood dream…Ghana Black Stars deserve better, and we shall rewrite our wrongs, Isha Allah. Thanks to all the amazing fans for their support and prayers,” Ashemiru stated on Instagram.
The Ghanaian football community now looks ahead to the rebuilding phase as they collectively aim to overcome the challenges encountered during the AFCON 2023 campaign.