The President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi has stated that Real Madrid and Black Stars Midfielder, Michael Essien, was suffering from a psychological problem thereby delaying his comeback to the national team.
“I’ve not spoken to Michael Essien personally, but I know that he has had a discussion with the coach and from that discussion it appears that he is not ready to come back and play now.
“I think that Michael Essien has a psychological problem and he needs to be encouraged. On the two occasions that Michael got injured, the most serious injuries in his life, one was a cruciate ligament in Lybia, another cruciate ligament in Angola, all occurred with the national team”, he stressed.
According to the FA president the pitch conditions in Africa have often been a problem to players who ply their trade in Europe as such they are very cautious in playing for their national teams in Africa.
“He may be a bit apprehensive coming back, we need to gradually tune his mind back”, he added.
“When I think about the national interest, I also think he is a human being and we need to give him the benefit of the doubt”, he said.
Michael Essien has asked to be excused from Ghana’s 2013 Nations Cup campaign but says he is still committed to playing for the Black Stars.
The midfielder, on loan at Real Madrid from Chelsea, says his priority is to secure his long-term club future.
Michael Essien has told Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah he needs more time to settle in fully at Madrid before returning to international football.
“It is a situation I understand”, Appiah told BBC Sport.
“Essien has made it clear to me he is still committed to playing for Ghana but he wants to sort out his club issues after moving from Chelsea to Real Madrid on loan. He is playing regularly now for Madrid and needs time to establish himself.”
“He has suffered two major injuries playing for Ghana but at no point has he said he does not want to play again”, Appiah added.
Appiah says Essien has not given a definite date for his return but he has indicated he will be available to play in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, which resume for the Black Stars in March next year with a game at home against Sudan.
Essien has not played for the Black Stars since June 2011 against Congo in a 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Kumasi.
Ghana will kick off their 2013 Nations Cup campaign with a match against Democratic Republic of Congo on 20 January. The will also face Mail and Niger in Group B.