Former Ghana star Derek Boateng backs Afena-Gyan’s decision to turn down Black Meteors invitation

Published on: 31 March 2023

Former Black Stars midfielder Derek Boateng has backed Felix Afena-Gyan’s decision to turn down Black Meteors invitation for the 2023 U-23 AFCON qualifiers.

The Cremonese attacker rejected call up to feature for the Ghana U-23 team in their game against Algeria in Kumasi, where the Black Meteors inflicted a 1-0 win over the North African country to qualify.

Afena-Gyan has been heavily criticized by some Ghanaian football fanatic for his gesture but Derek Boateng has jumped to his defense as he believes he was not treated fairly by the Ghana FA.

Afena-Gyan played a huge role in the Black Stars qualification to the World Cup 2022 but was snubbed in the final 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar.

"I really think Ghanaians haven't been fair to that boy so right now that he has turned down an invitation, I support it. Football now is not about going to the field and performing a lot of things adds up that people don't care about and only blame players that they don't perform," Derek Boateng stated.

"Football is about the brain so if you don't have a sound mindset you can never perform. In our two matches against Nigeria, he was our best player. He was the player that was fighting four Nigerian defenders because we were playing one top. He did everything possible, we qualified for the World Cup and they didn't invite him and now they want him for under 23 and his management said he is not ready," he said.