Gyan nails a carpenter
Ghana captain John Mensah has been busy - not on the field, but in the media. He has been pleading on behalf of his colleague Asamoah Gyan, who angrily assaulted a carpenter in Ghana's Eastern Region on Monday.
Describing the incident as unfortunate, Mensah spoke on local radio about events leading to the slapping of the carpenter. According to news site OMG Ghana, a persistent innuendo by Frank Giage, a carpenter, infuriated the Al Ain forward. Gyan alighted from his cream Escalade and repeatedly slapped the carpenter.
Reports say the carpenter had taunted Gyan by following the striker's vehicle, while shouting "over the bar!". The taunt was in reference to Asamoah Gyan's missed penalties in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final as well that of the African Cup semi-final this year.
Asamoah Gyan was in the company of some of his Black Stars teammates and celebrities who had been in Ghana's second city for a charity game at the weekend. The popular travel rest stop Linda Dor Restaurant, near Kibi in the Eastern Region, was the scene.
John Mensah pleaded on the player's behalf on Accra-based Happy FM, but tried to woo listeners to why Gyan may have acted that way. "I was not around when the incident occurred, but I must say I am sorry for the incident. The victim should have also considered that [football] errors are part of the game – and the fact that the incident [the missed penalties] is past and gone and should not be revisited."
Mensah also noted that football fans have a role to play in making players feel wanted and needed, even when they make mistakes. "In as much as we need the fans because they play very important role in our careers, they should be tolerant and be patient with us," Mensah said.
The station spoke to the victim, Frank Giage, who promised to repeat the action any time meets Gyan. He, however, declined to press charges.
Is Gyan vindicated?
Asamoah Gyan's backers say that wanton events like this are bound to make him - and other national team players - skeptical of wearing the national jersey, as they say there is so much abuse a player can take. However, others believe that Gyan - and by extension, footballers - must know that they will be praised and abused in equal measure for successes and failures.
Asamoah Gyan, only two weeks ago, revealed that he had temporarily quit the national team after the Nations' Cup due to "psychological problems" stemming from abuse from fans. He had lamented fans' inability to "let go" and understand that football is game of mistakes and successes.
Attempts by SuperSport.com to get the player's own explanations have not been fruitful. The Ghana FA has also declined comment.